Young Indian golfer Nishtha Madan came up with a great display of putting to win her fourth career title on the Cactus Tour — a developmental tour in Arizona — by four strokes.
The 23-year-old Gurugram resident, a Sacremento State University graduate who turned pro in 2020, had a superb first round of 63 — her personal best — on Friday, and followed it up with identical 71s on the next two days to finish 11-under par.
She beat Cheyenne Woods of the US by four strokes.
Nishtha, whose goal is to play on the LPGA Tour, had to face a lot of uncertainty last year after the Q-School was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. She was then forced to play the Cactus Tour, which helped her gain confidence.
“There was no Q-School and before I committed to playing golf full time I wanted to feel it out and see if I was 100 per cent sure about pursuing it. Since there was nothing else to play, I decided to move to Arizona to compete in the Cactus Tour and develop my game and it worked out as I had intended for it,” Nishtha told indiagolfdigest.com.
“I came to the conclusion fast that this is something I will do full time and have a very clear understanding that I must win on the mini tour before I can climb a ladder to the LPGA.”
Soon after turning pro in May 2020, Nishtha met with success in her fourth professional start at the Kentucky Women’s Open, where she won by three strokes with rounds of 65 and 67 in July. She bagged her second title at the Sun City South Fall Championship, shooting 71-70-72 for a two-shot win in September.
Nishtha clinched her third title, aggregating 15-under par (66, 68, 67), at Apache Creek on the Cactus Tour in November.