Three birdies in a row help Tvesa Malik make cut comfortably in Bangkok

Tvesa Malik in action at Aramco Series BKK

Bangkok, Thailand, May 13: Cheered on by her entire family, India’s Tvesa Malik finally overcame the sweltering heat of Thailand and her cold form just when she needed it most. A stretch of three straight birdies on the back nine saw her make the cut comfortably in the $1 million Aramco Team Series – Bangkok, which is being played at the historic Thai Country Club.

Tvesa finished the second day at 72 after 75 on the first day. At 147 she was T-38 as the top 60 and ties made the cut for the third and final round.

In the team competition, which was played over two days, Malik’s team, comprising Switzerland’s Nobuhle Dlamini and Anais Maggetti and local amateur Airi Misuhgashi, improved to 15th place.

The team competition was won by Whitney Hiller’s team that comprised Krista Baker, Chonlada Chayanum and amateur Pattanam Amatanon.

The 27-year-old Tvesa from Delhi is attempting to overcome inconsistencies that often come with a recent swing change. While she hit the ball beautifully at the Ladies European Tour event, she just could not get her putter to convert several close chances in the opening two rounds.

Local hero Patty Tavatanakit (three-under par 69), the highest ranked player in the world at No13, led the field at nine-under par 133, two shots better than England’s Felicity Johnson (68) and Belgium’s Manon de Roey (67).

Former world No1, Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn, was also in the mix. A two-under par 70 took her to tied fourth place at six-under par 138.

In Friday’s second round, Malik was staring at the prospect of an idle weekend, but things changed when she finally managed to roll in a 24-foot birdie putt on the 11th hole. That was followed by another long birdie putt on the 12th hole, and then an even more unlikely putt from off the green on the 13th.

Tvesa had three birdies in a row 11th to 13th and bogeyed sixth, ninth and 15th and is now tied-38th at three-over par going into Saturday’s final round.

“It was still a very tough day. I don’t think it was very easy to play out here. I was able to hit my shots close yesterday, as well as today, but just didn’t make as many parts as I needed to. So hopefully, I’m going to have another chance to do it tomorrow and hopefully, I can get some to drop,” said Malik, who was followed through the 18 holes by her father Aloke, mother Ritu and sister Kasvi.

“But I didn’t leave any putt short today. They all went past because I was really trying to make everything. It just wasn’t my day with the birdies. It just didn’t do what it was supposed to. I missed too many of them by very narrow margins.

“I am happy for my family. They have been wonderful support. Walking in these conditions is not easy and they have done that for the whole two days. I am happy I gave them something to cheer.”

The Aramco Team Series is two competitions rolled into one – a $500,000 team competition, where an amateur joins the team of three professionals, and a 54-hole individual competition.

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