New Delhi: Gurbani Singh edged out defending champion Aditi Ashok by one stroke to kick-start her 2013 season with a victory at the Usha Ladies Open Amateur golf championship on Thursday. (In pic, Gurbani on the right)
In a see-saw battle, where Gurbani started the final day one shot ahead of Aditi, the former finally kept it that way despite the lead changing many times.
Raksha Phadke ((73), starting the last day five shots behind the leader, made a valiant attempt but fell shot by two shots even as the two traded the lead back and forth and made a lot of errors.
Phadke finished in third place at 225.
Tvesa Malik (78) plummeted to fourth at 229 while Gaurika Bishnoi (72) was the only player to shoot a par round and she was tied fifth with Amandeep Drall (77) at 230.
Gurbani, who shot an under-par round had Aditi right on her heels through the front nine. Aditi actually closed the gap and leveled matters when she birdied the second, which Gurbani only parred.
Gurbani parred all nine holes, but Aditi after her birdie dropped a shot on par-4 seventh and that meant Gurbani again moved ahead.
On the back nine, Gurbani fell behind with back-to-back bogeys but once again Aditi gave back that advantage with a bogey on par-5 12th hole. However Aditi fought back to take the lead yet again with a birdie on par-3 13th.
However the fight was knocked out of the young Aditi when she double bogeyed the par-5 14th and handed back the lead to Gurbani once more.
There was a further twist as Gurbani bogeyed the par-4 15th and matters were once again level with three holes to play.
The lead went to Gurbani one final time when Aditi succumbed to pressure and dropped a shot on par-3 16th and from there Gurbani held on and won the title with both parring the last two holes.
With both Gurbani and Aditi also eligible for Category A, they were the top two in Category A and also Category A-B combined.
Gaurika Bishnoi (77-81-72) at 230 topped Category B with Amrita Anand (76-78-79) second at 233 and Arushi Pandey (83-81-79) third at 243.
In Category C, Arshia Mahant (89-80-85) at 254 was the winner with Tanishka Kumar (85-85-86) second at 256.