DEAUVILLE (France): Indian golfer Diksha Dagar produced a sizzling seven-under 64 in the final round to sign off at the third place, her best result of the season, at the Lacoste Ladies Open de France here.
The result also carried her to 45th spot in the Race to Costa del Sol standings for LET.
Diksha finished third behind Ines Laklalech and Meghan MacLaren, who were involved in a play-off hole, which was won by Laklalech on the par-4 18th, at Golf Barrière.
An elated Diksha thanked her father, Col Naren Dagar, for his guidance as her caddie during the tournament.
“I’m very happy to see the direction that my game is heading in. Unfortunately, on the first day, I had six birdies but (also had) a number of bogeys, so I was thinking that I needed to cut down the bogeys,” she said.
“I didn’t know the course very well but then I learned more about the clubs I should be selecting. Me and my dad had very good team work today and we selected the clubs well together and finally my putts started to drop.”
Starting the day at 4-under and in T-12 place, Diksha hit three straight birdies on first three holes. She added two more on seventh and ninth to turn in 5-under 30. A day earlier she played the same stretch in 6-under 29.
On the back nine, Diksha added birdies on 10th, 13th and 14th to go to 8-under and in going for one more on the 18th she dropped her only bogey of the day and finished at 64.
Laklalech has made history by becoming the first Moroccan, first Arab and first North African woman to win a Ladies European Tour title. Her husband, Ali, was her caddie.
The 24-year-old from Casablanca defeated Meghan MacLaren with a bogey five on the first play-off hole, the par-4 18th, at Golf Barrière.
Laklalech started the last day with a one-stroke lead but MacLaren had taken the advantage after five holes in the final round. The Englishwoman held a two stroke lead with four holes to play but Laklalech birdied the long 16th and then MacLaren bogeyed the short 17th, meaning that the pair were tied coming to the par-4 18th hole.
After taking regulation pars and tying on 14-under-par 199, the pair returned to the 18th tee for a play-off.
This time MacLaren put her drive into the long rough on the left of the fairway and couldn’t get her ball out at the first attempt.
She had to take a penalty drop and ultimately ended with a six. Laklalech reached the front of the green in two strokes and won with a five.
Laklalech is a big fan of Tunisian tennis star Ons Jabeur and she hopes that her victory will inspire more Arabic girls to follow their dreams to play on Tour.
A stroke further back, Anais Meysonnier of France ended in outright fourth place after a final round of five-under-par 66 and former champion Caroline Hedwall of Sweden finished in fifth.
The 2021 champion Céline Boutier from France tied for sixth.





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