London | Diksha Dagar produced the best-ever show by an Indian woman golfer at a Major as she ended the Women's Open at Tied-21st while compatriot Aditi Ashok signed off at T-40 position.
Diksha, a two-time LET winner, who produced a fine effort on the back nine of the second round to make her first cut in a Major two days earlier, closed the week with another superb back-nine show.
After a 2-over on the front nine, Diksha was 3-under for the back nine for a 1-under scorecard. With rounds of 74-71-72-71, she totalled even par 288 for four days.
Aditi, playing her seventh Women's Open, shot a second straight 75 to fall to T-40 with rounds of 72-69-75-75. She was T-9 at the halfway stage of the tournament but slipped over the weekend.
Lilia Vu of the United States outplayed the field by six shots to win her second Major of the year. Vu, who shot 72-68-67-67, totalled 14-under for the week.
She was six shots ahead of England's Charley Hull, who just could not get her putter to perform and ended with a 73 after being tied for the lead at the end of 54 holes.
Diksha's result of T-21 was the best-ever by an Indian woman at a Major, bettering T-22 by Aditi at the 2018 Women's Open.
Smriti Mehra finished Tied-sixth in 1998 Women's British Open at Royal Lytham, when Sherri Steinhauer of the US won the title, but at that time the Women's British Open was not a Major. It became a Major only in 2001.
Playing her fourth Women's Open this was the first time Diksha had made the cut after missing cuts in 2019, 2020 and 2022. This was her sixth Major overall and the first time she had made the cut.
Diksha's purse of USD 84,162 was also the highest of her professional career and it took her back into the Top-5 of the Ladies European Tour's Race to Costa Del Sol, where Aditi is lying third.
Lying T-35 after the third round, Diksha bogeyed fourth and sixth on the front nine and turned in 2-over. On the back nine, which she had played in par or better each of the first three days, Diksha found birdies on the 12th, 15th and 17th to bounce back.
She also missed a couple of chances. Despite finding fewer fairways and greens in regulation, Diksha putted her best for the week with just 28 putts after going over 30 putts on the first three days.
Aditi, lying T-28 after the third day, birdied once each on the front and back nines, but bogeyed five times in her 75.
Vu got off to a strong start with a birdie on the second hole and followed it up with another on the ninth to be in control at the halfway stage. The 25-year-old added further birdies on 10 and 12 before she ran into trouble at the 15th for a bogey.
But Vu soon bounced back with a birdie on 16 and finished in style with a birdie on 18 to seal a final round of 67.
Hull finished in outright second place on eight-under-par after a 73. The three-time LET winner had two bogeys on her front nine but produced a moment of magic on the 11th chipping in from the bunker for eagle.
Hull had bogeys on holes 15, 16 and 17 to card a round of one-over but it was still her best-ever finish in her home major.
Korea's Jiyai Shin ended the week in solo third place on seven-under-par after shooting 70 (-2). There were two players one stroke behind on six-under-par with Korean pair Amy Yang and Hyo-Joo Kim in Tied-4th.
Three Americans Allisen Corpuz, Ally Ewing and Angel Yin all on 4-under-par finished sixth.
In the 2023 Race to Costa del Sol, Celine Boutier extended her lead at the top of the rankings and now has 1,725.38 points. Spain's Ana Peláez Trivino still sits in second place with 1,433.20 points with Aditi in third (1,309.19) and Sweden's Linn Grant in fourth (1,276.28). Diksha has moved up to fifth place after finishing in a tie for 21st place