London, June 17: Tvesa Malik grinded it out on a long day at the challenging Par-73 Centurion Golf Club and closed with a birdie for 1-over 74 after Day 1 at the Aramco Team Series – London. Tvesa was placed T-35, while India’s other challenger, Diksha Dagar (80) had a rough day and was T-93rd on a course that has six Par-5s.
Sweden’s Sofie Bringer knocked in three eagles in a round of 7-under 66 to take the lead and her team, led by Linn Grant, also had a share of the lead in the Team event.
The Aramco Team Series has two competitions rolled into one with half of the Million-dollar prize purse kept aside for the Team Competition and the other half for the individual positions.
Just as Tvesa and Dagar faced contrasting fortunes in their individual rounds, their team also had varying results. Dagar, despite her own disappointing card, holed some crucial putts to help her quartet hold a solid fourth place.
Diksha, who was a part of the winning team last year, had three birdies, six bogeys and two doubles. However, her three birdies were very helpful for team scores. In individuals, she will need a strong second round to make the cut for individual prizes.
In contrast, Tvesa Malik, who is the captain of her team, saw her quartet languish in T-31st place from the 36 teams in the fray.
With events that include an amateur in each foursome always taking long the girls were on the course for a long period. Tvesa said, “It was a long day, taking almost six and a half hours.”
She added, “The course is tough, even though we played it last year. The pins were somewhat tough, and the greens are tricky. Personally, I hit it better today but struggled on the greens and feel that putting could be much better. Hopefully things will be better on the second day.”
Diksha is in the team led by Spaniard Ana Pelaez alongside Northern Ireland’s Olivia Mehaffey, and amateur Ivan Forster. Their score was 14-under and were two behind joint leaders, Team Anne Van Damm and Team Linn Grant, who are 16-under. Caroline Hedwall’s team is in third place at 15-under.
Diksha’s birdies were instrumental in adding to the team’s gains. The birdies came on Par-5 sixth, where she was the best with a birdie. The next birdie on Par-5 ninth and then the birdie on Par-4 16th was once again the best score for her team. Also, Diksha’s par on Par-3 11th made up for Pelaez’s bogey and Mehaffey’s double.
Each team comprises three professionals and one amateur and the two best scores at each hole count towards the team competition, which will be decided at the end of the second round. The individual honours will be claimed after the third and final round.
Behind leader Bringer’s 66, Georgia Hall held the individual second place at 6-under 67 alongside another Swede Jenny Haglund (67). Bronte Law, who had called for more women’s events alongside men’s like last week in Sweden, was fourth with 5-under 68 and nine players, including Charley Hull, carded 4-under 69 each.
The $500,00036-hole team event concludes after two days, while the lowest-scoring 60 players and ties battle it out for a share of a $500,000.