June 6: Tvesa Malik waged a heroic battle but fell short right at the end at the Jabra Ladies Open. Yet, Tvesa came out with a second Top-10 in as many weeks as she continued to knock on the door of that maiden win on the Ladies European Tour at Evian-Les-Bains, France.
Tvesa, who began the week with a. modest 75, soared up the leaderboard with a 4-under 67 on the second day and closed with 1-under 70 on the final day for a total of 1-under 212 late on Saturday.
Tvesa also equalled her career-best finish on the Ladies European Tour with a Tied-6th place, the same as she did at home in Hero Women’s. Indian Open in 2019.
Tvesa was tied with five other players at Tied-6th and they included Austrian Christine Wolf (67), Scot Alison Muirhead (68), French golfer Anne.-Lise Caudal (69), Dane Linette Littau Durr Holmslykke (69) and Thai Atthaya Thitikul (74).
Slovenian Pia Babnik, just 17 years of age, notched up her maiden win as she held her nerve in the crucial stages. She closed the final with a birdie-birdie finish for a 70 and set a clubhouse target after starting in the second last group. Babnik set the clubhouse target of 4-under 212 and defending champion Annabel Dimmock produced a birdie on 18th to force a. play-off, which Babnik won and is now likely to get a Tokyo Olympic berth.
What undid Tvesa’s fine challenge was her scoring on the Par-5s. She dropped as many as four bogeys on them over three days. She bogeyed two Par-5s on day one, one on second day and two more on the third and final day. In comparison she had just three birdies on the Par-5s. That cost her heavily.
Sanna Nuutinen of Finland shot 70 as did Felicity Johnson (70) for tied third, while other contenders Olivia Cowan, a co-leader after 36 holes, and Thai youngster Atthaya Thitikul also finished in the tie for third.
Tvesa had to come up with a strong second round to make the cut which she with the day’s best score of 4-under 67 and went up to T-10 after being T-52 on first day.
On the final day, Tvesa birdied fifth, 11th, 16th and 17th. She, however, dropped shots on 10th, 15th and 16th.
Tvesa, who briefly held the lead last week on the final day, was tied second for a brief period this week when she was one shot behind Babnik and Dimmock. But the bogey on 18th saw her drop sharply and she ended Tied-6th.
Earlier Dimmock’s challenge hit a roadblock with bogeys on 13th and 14th and she shot 72.
The win is also likely to get Babnik a Tokyo Olympic berth, while Tvesa hovers around the cut line, which will be decided in the final week this month.