Pranavi, Diksha off to fine starts at Aramco Series in Florida

Pranavi Urs and Diksha Dagar. PIC: LET

Tampa, Florida, March 9: The Indian duo Pranavi Urs and Diksha Dagar got off to a fine start on the first day the Aramco Team Series  – Tampa  at Feather Sound Country Club.

Coming off solid Top-10 finishes in Morocco in their previous, both Indians were within striking distance of the leaders. Pranavi playing her rookie season and only her had a 5-under 67 to be placed T-5 but just one shot of the foursome leading the field at six-under.

Diksha, who began the day with a double bogey picked five birdies after that to finish 3-under and T-16 but only three behind the leaders.

Wales’ Chloe Williams, Switzerland’s Kim Metraux, the defending Individual champion Spain’s Carlota Ciganda and American Solheim Cup player Marina Alex led the way on six-under-par 66 each.

Team Roussin-Bouchard and Team Law are top of the pile in the Team competition with a score of 18-under-par.

Pranavi, playing with Bronte Law, the former AIG Women’s Open winner, Sophia Popov and amateur Jim Boddy, also put herself in line for a team win. Along with their amateur, they shared the lead in team standings with Team Pauline Roussin-Bouchard, the defending team champion, who had Celine Hebron, Meghan MacLaren and amateur LuJain Omar Khalil, as teammates.

The team event will finish on the second day and if Pranavi and her team win, she will emulate Diksha, who had a win in Aramco Series London two seasons ago.

Pranavi, winner of the Order of Merit on her home Tour in 2022 with five wins, starting on the tenth, parred her first three holes before stringing five birdies in a row and turned in 5-under 31. A sixth birdie on the first and yet another one on the fourth saw her rise to 7-under and into sole lead. Then came the disappointment with a double bogey on the sixth, her 15th hole of the day. She ended at 5-under and one behind the leaders.

Pranavi Urs, who fired an opening round of 67 (-5), said: “It definitely feels great to get off to a hot start and I feel like I’ve been doing that quite often for the past four rounds now, but I just couldn’t quite finish it.

“Five-under was not bad and I will take it. I was really good off the tee today and that put me in good position to get good approaches, except for one which caused a double, but apart from that I have been hitting it good and putting has been good too.”

She was rather consistent through the day, missing the fairway only three times, but on two of those occasions he managed to par. Also she missed the greens in regulation only twice and only once on the fifth, did it cost her dearly with double bogey. She needed 29 putts.

Diksha found every fairway but missed the greens in regulation on her last three holes, though she scrambled for pars each time. The start for a double was her only blemish.

Diksha said, “I started with a double bogey and then I had a bad bounce and went into the bunker. I couldn’t come on to the green. Then I four putted. I didn’t think about that too much. I stayed calm and focused on every shot. I then gained very good momentum, and I had to fight for it.  It was a good recovery and it turned out very well. Three under par, but the weather forecast for tomorrow is rain.”

She added, “I’m going to focus on one shot at a time because tomorrow, it’s going to be a different game due to the weather change. I’m going to ensure that I’m playing a good game.”

Among the leaders, Wales’ Williams went bogey-free rolling in birdies on holes four, 10, 11 and 17 as well as a chip-in eagle on the 14th.


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