New Delhi: Millie Saroha held on to her nerves against a higher ranked Gurbani Singh in a play-off to register her first win of the season, grabbing the Open title in Usha Northern India Ladies Golf Championships here on Thursday.

Overnight leader, Millie, a semi-finalist at the Usha All India Ladies Amateur Golf Championships last year, rallied in the late stages to get into a play-off at the Delhi Golf Course.

The 16-year-old Millie's final round of one-over 73 saw her finish 54 holes with a total of two-over 218, the same as Gurbani, who carded 72 in the final round after rounds of 72 and 74 on first two days.

Aditi Ashok finished third.

Gurbani had to be content with the runner-up finish for the second year running, while Aditi was third even last year.

The defending champion, Vani Kapoor, has since turned professional.

The prizes were given by the Executive Board Director of Usha, Chhaya Shriram.

In regulation play, Millie needed a birdie in one of the last two holes to catch up with Gurbani, who held a slight advantage in the closing stages. Millie got that crucial birdie on the 17th, while Gurbani managed only pars in the last two holes.

In the play-off Millie nailed an eight-footer to win and with it came her first title of the year.

It was great scoring for both the youngsters on the main course at the DGC. They also putted well and strung together three fine rounds.

Aditi, the first round leader, and topper on the Order of Merit, shot 75 and finished a distant third at 222.

Amandeep Drall (79) was fourth at 229, while Vrishali Sinha (76) was fifth at 232. Nanaki Chadha recovered from her first two rounds of 79 and 81 with a final round 74 that saw her finish sixth with a total of 234.

Mille and Gurbani also took the honours in Category A, while Aditi topped Category B with rounds of 70-77-75 and Gurjot Badwal (81-79-79) was second at 239. Amrita Anand (79-81-80) was third at 240.

Arushi Pandey and Riya Ahuja were first and second, respectively in Category C, while Tanishka Kumar and Tiya Choudhary topped Category D.

This season Aditi has won two titles, Gurbani and Millie joins the list of winners on the Usha-IGU Ladies circuit.

The Usha Northern Indian Ladies golf, one of the oldest tournaments in the country, had more than 70 golfers competing in ladies and juniors sections.


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