Nocera completes wire-to-wire win
Gwladys Nocera from France collected her first title of the 2014 season with a dominant display in the Hero Women’s Indian Open.
With rounds of 64, 72 and 72, she finished with an 11 under par total of 208 at Delhi Golf Club, five strokes clear of three other players.
England’s Hannah Burke, Fabienne In-Albon from Switzerland and Korean Hyeon Seo Kang tied for second on six under, while India’s Vaishavi Sinha double bogeyed the 18th to drop into solo fifth place.
Nocera began the final round with a two stroke advantage over Sinha and birdied the second to move three ahead, before a three-putt bogey on the fifth.
After another bogey on the ninth, where her second shot found the bunker, Nocera was two clear at the turn, but she made another bogey on the par-5 10th reducing her lead to just one stroke.
With birdies on 11 and 12, she went three clear of Sinha and then a final birdie on the short 17th gave her a four stroke lead with a hole to play.
After making a par on 18, she sealed her 13th Ladies European Tour victory and her second Indian title, after she won the EMAAR-MGF Ladies Masters at Eagleton Golf Resort in Bangalore in 2007.
With her winnings of €36,478, she is now back in the hunt to take the order of merit for a second time, after last winning the title in 2008.
“It’s always good to win, I love it, and it’s nice to win in India for a second time, so I’m really pleased,” said Nocera. “It worked out really well the first day and after that I tried to play my game and that’s it.”
Nocera was also presented with an Omega Constellation watch and thanked her caddie, Sebastien Clement and long term sponsors Lacoste, Mizuno and BMW, for their support over the last few years.
She and her caddie of three years have won as many tournaments together and Nocera added: “I’ve played on tour for 12 years so experience always helps and it did today. Today, my putting was not too good but I told myself I am capable of shooting a good score. I stayed patient and it paid off.”
Meanwhile, Burke was pleased to equal her career best finish.
She said: “I’m pretty happy with second. I had a bit of a rough start to the week with a bit of Delhi belly, so I’ve managed to get through that and persevere so a big thank you to my caddie Jo Morley for getting me through the first round.
“It got pretty tough towards the end but Gwladys had a great start to the tournament and we were chasing all week so well done to her.”
Fabienne In-Albon was also thrilled to register her career best finish and move to 49th on the ISPS HANDA Order of Merit, which means that she has effectively retained her exemption status for the 2015 season.
She said: “I’m very pleased because I didn’t really know what was going on. I just tried to hit fairways and greens and I missed two greens but only just, because I was on the fringe. It was a solid round.
“I didn’t hit it that close and I thought some of the pin positions were very tough but I didn’t have one bogey so I was kind of cruising along and I didn’t realise that I was four under.
“It’s my best finish so far after my eighth in South Africa and I’m very happy, especially with that pressure of fighting for the card the last two tournaments of the year. It definitely is a big relief.”
The Ladies European Tour now moves to the UAE for the final tournament of the season: the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters being played from December 10-13.
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