Teenaged Diksha lone Indian to make cut; lies 23rd as Slovenian Pogacar leads
2 Mar, 2019

Canberra, Australia, March 2: Diksha Dagar put her consistency on display with a second straight round of one-under 70 to make the cut at the ACTWEAGL Canberra Classic on Saturday. With rounds of 70-70, Diksha is now two-under at 140 and is Tied-23rd and is nine shots behind the leaders, Slovenia’s Katja Pogacar (64) and Dutch Anne Van Damm (63), at the Royal Canberra on Saturday.

The leaders were 11-under and breathing down their neck was Carly Booth of Scotland who shot six-under 65 to be third.

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Round 1 - Rookie Diksha Dagar best Indian at T-29 in Canberra, Amelia Lewis leads

The 18-year-old Haryana golfer, Dagar starting from the tenth got her first birdie on the 11th and parred the next 10 till the fourth, which she bogeyed. Birdies on fifth and seventh brought her to two-under par, but a late bogey on eighth, her penultimate hole of the day, saw her finish at one-under 70.

India’s other players Vani Kapoor (72-75), Tvesa Malik (76-74), Amandeep Drall (73-78) and Astha Madan (77-76) missed the cut, which fell at one-over and 58 players including one amateur made the cut.

Dagar played at the Asian Games as an amateur in August and then turned pro and played the Australian Qualifying tournament to earn a limited status after finishing T-30.

Dagar has had a fairly fruitful start with Tied-12th at the 36-hole Ballarat Icons Pro-Am and was Tied-44th at the Australian Ladies Classic at Bonville. She missed the halfway cut at the ISPS Handa Vic Open. A good finish at the Canberra Classic will help her grow confidence as she has also got an entry into the one-day International Moss Vale Pro-Am next week.

Van Damm, a three-time Ladies European Tour winner, said thoughts of a 59 went through her mind after making seven birdies in her first 10 holes. “When I birdied 10, I thought, I need five more birdies, which I think is do-able, especially on the back nine, which is easier. I’m in a good position and I really like the course. It suits my eye and I’ve been hitting a lot of good shots, so I’m looking forward to tomorrow. I’d sign for another round like that right away.”

Pogacar, a 28-year-old from Ljubljana, Pogacar started with a bogey on her first hole, the 10th, but birdied the next two holes before making an eagle on the par-5 18th. She then carded four more birdies on the front nine at the first, fourth, sixth and ninth.

She says, “I have ‘Slovenia’ written on the back of my shirt so that people can see where I come from, but it’s really exciting, because it will put Slovenia on the map.”

The 26-year-old Booth, who lifted two titles on the LET in 2012, had seven birdies and one bogey in a six-under 65 including three birdies in a row in the middle of her round. Belgian Manon De Roey (67) and Korean Jiyai Shin (64) are tied fourth, while Madelene Sagstrom of Sweden is sixth with 68-67 at seven-under.

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