Gurgaon, Oct 12 (IANS) Vani Kapoor produced a dramatic birdie-finish that won her a second straight title in as many weeks at the Hero-CGR Women's Pro Golf at the Classic Golf Resort here Friday.
This was the 18-year-old's third title of the season and she has now emerged as a strong contender for the Order of Merit title on the Hero-WGAI Tour.
After Smriti Mehra, Vani becomes the second player to clinch three titles this season. The only others to win this year have been Sharmila in the first leg and Nalini Singh Siwach.
Vani carded the only under-par round of the day at 70 to total 219 while Smriti (73), the overnight joint leader with Nalini, finished second at 220.
"It feels great to win twice in a row. This third title gives me more confidence that I can be consistent. Though I was trailing at the start of the day, I knew two shots is a small lead and it could vanish quickly. I am happy that I made no mistakes on the back nine," said Vani.
Nalini, who was in contention for the title till the turn, collapsed after that as she bogeyed five times on the back nine to card 77 and finish fourth, one behind Neha Tripathi (74).
Neha totalled 223 and Nalini 224. Saaniya Sharma (80) also had a rough day and was fifth at 228 and Shraddhanjali Singh (74) was sixth at 231.
Vani, starting the day in the second last group and two shots behind Smriti and Nalini, birdied the third and sixth but bogeys on fourth and seventh meant she was even par for front nine.
With Smriti having gone one over for front nine, Vani was only one behind Smriti. But the leader was still Nalini, who with one bogey on first and one birdie on fifth was even par.
On the back nine, Vani was flawless. She birdied the 14th and then closed with another birdie on the 18th, which gave her the clubhouse lead.
In the last group behind Vani, Smriti was also flawless on the back nine. She came to the 18th needing a birdie to get into a play-off but managed only a par and Vani grabbed the title.
Neha was the best on the front nine with two bogeys on first and fourth but three birdies from fifth to seventh. On the back nine, she had one double, two bogeys and just one birdie to fall out of contention.
There are two more legs left in the Hero-WGAI Tour.