Sports

Indians soar as Tvesa gets to Top-5 in Italian Open; Gangjee rises to third in Japan

May 29 | Updated on May 29, 2021

Diksha Dagar in with a chance to make the cut

Tvesa Malik was on fire on the back nine of the second round as she raced to 6-under 30 for the stretch and a total of 6-under 66 for the round in the Italian Open on Saturday. Tvesa had carded 2-over 74 in the first round and now has a total of 4-under for 36 holes in Italy.

Diksha Dagar, who is making a comeback after a back injury, will also likely make the cut as she followed up her first 74, with a second round of 1-over 73, to be 3-over for two rounds. She was lying at T-56, but with many other players yet to finish. The third Indian, Astha Madan, who had 77 in the first round, was yet to begin her second round.

Tvesa, whose career-best finish on the Ladies European Tour came at home on the Hero Women’s Indian Open, is now 4-under 140. She has risen from overnight T-52nd to Tied-5th, which could change as the round progresses as a good number of players have yet to finish their second round.

The 25-year-old Tvesa was even for the front nine, which included three birdies, a double bogey on Par-3 third, and a bogey on Par-4 ninth, where she dropped a shot for the second day running.

Tvesa, needing a strong back nine to ensure her stay in the tournament, was on fire on the second stretch. She birdied the 11th and 12th and then had three in a row from the 14th to 16th holes and capped it with a birdie on 18th. In all, she had nine birdies, including six on the back nine, during the round.

The leader is Gabriela Cowley of England, who followed up her first round 67 with a second round 71 to get to 6-under, while Spain’s Maria Hernandez (71-68) was second at 5-under alongside first round co-leader amateur, Lucie Malchirand, who had just begun her second round after a first round of 66. She was 1-over through four holes in the second round.

Gangjee moves to third in Mizuno Open, has British Open spot in sight

Rahil Gangjee shot his best round of the year as he finished birdie-birdie for a round of 6-under 66 and rose to Tied-third after the second round at the GateWay to the Open Mizuno Open on Saturday in Okayama, Japan.

 

With two spots for the 149th Open at Royal St. Georges on offer this week, Gangjee has a lot to play for. In case he makes it, it will be his maiden appearance at a Major. No Indian has booked a spot as yet.

The 42-year-old Gangjee, who has been playing in Japan since his win in 2018, is now 9-under for 36 holes in a tournament that has been truncated to 54 holes after the cancellation of the first round due to bad weather.

After a round 69 that placed him T-28th, Gangjee added a 66 that moved him to T-3 alongside Australian Dylan Perry (67-68). At a tournament three of the top four are non-Japanese, with the leader being Filipino Juvic Pagunsan (66-65), who has been on the Japan Tour for close to a decade, but is still looking for his maiden win. Pagunsan is 13-under and three shots clear of veteran Katsumasa Miyamoto (63-71), while Gangjee and Perry are Tied-third at 9-under.

Gangjee, who was T-11 at the Golf Partner Pro-AM last week, was flawless over the front nine and had four birdies, on the second, sixth, eighth and ninth. He dropped his only shot of the day on the 10th, but picked a birdie on the 11th. Back-to-back birdies on the 17th and 18th ensured he finished strong with 66 and was Tied-third.

Gangjee will now play in the second last group in the third round, which will also be the final round. He is paired with Yuwa Kosaihiri and Scott Strange.

Pagunsan, a former Asian Tour No. 1, was 3-under for the front nine and then parred from seventh to 13th, before managing four birdies in the last five holes for his 65. Miyamoto, runner-up at the Crowns and Japan Players Championship, had four birdies, a bogey and a double bogey in his 71, while Perry was bogey free in his round of 68.

No spectators are allowed this week, though sponsors and selected guests are allowed.

Published on May 29, 2021

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