New Delhi: The tree-lined narrow course of The Delhi Golf Club is ready to host the likes of Thidapa Suwannapura, Carlota Ciganda, Gwladys Nocera, Vani Kapoor and Sharmila Nicollet for the eighth edition of Hero Women’s Indian Open. The three-day event is being held at the historic Delhi Golf Club from 4th to 6th December.
The US$ 300,000 event - tri-sanctioned by the Ladies European Tour (LET), the Ladies Asian Golf Tour (LAGT) and Women's Golf Association of India (WGAI) will see 108 top professionals from around the globe fighting for the top spot.
Defending champion Thidapa Suwannapura, who won her first LET title at the last year’s Hero Women’s Indian Open, looks eager for an encore. However, it won’t be easy for the Thailand pro and she is expected to face tough completion from Florentyna Parker (winner- Ladies Italian Open 2014), Connie Chen (winner – Tenerife Open de Espana 2014) and Sophie Gustafson. Talking to the media, Thidapa said “I am very happy to be back in India. I have some fond memories at DGC. I won my first LET title last year at this very event, so I am looking forward to Hero Women’s Indian Open’14.”
With the tournament scheduled towards the end of the year a lot of interesting dynamics will be at play among the top players who are also eying the win carrying with it an exemption to play at the LET. Several new Asian stars as well have been born in the world of golf after the victory in India – Taiwan’s Tseng Ya Ni in 2007, Thai’s Pornanong Phatlum in 2008, 2009, 2012 and Thai’s Thidapa Suwannapura last year. It will be interesting to see another new Asian heroine who may emerge this year.
Pawan Munjal, Vice Chairman, CEO and Managing Director, Hero MotoCorp Ltd, said “It is heartening to see the Hero Women’s Indian Open in its eighth edition.We are excited to host some of the best professionals from across the world and their presence speaks volumes about the tournament. We have witnessed some great performances in the last seven editions and am sure that it will live up to our expectations this year as well. This tournament gives an opportunity to talented Indian girls to showcase their talent against the best in the world and we expect a good show from our young and talented golfers”
The Indian challenge will be led by Vani Kapoor who has been in dream form this season and is the winner of the Hero Order of Merit. She also finished third in the Mineks & Regnum Ladies Classic on the LET’s Access Series recently. Hero Motocorp sponsored Sharmila Nicollet, the only Indian to retain her LET card for two years, will be making a comeback from a toe injury and will look to make an impact. She said “It’s been a tough year for me. I have struggled with injuries. But thankfully am recovering now and working on my game. It’s good to be back for Hero Women’s Indian Open’14 at DGC. I am giving my best and hoping for results.” Another golfer to look out for is Delhi’s Gauri Monga who put up a stellar performance last year to finish T5, and is playing her first tournament as professional.
Some interesting changes have been made to the course this year for the Hero Women’s Indian Open. The par score of the course has been set at 73 and the course length has also been reduced by over a hundred yards to deal with restricted daylight hours.
Kavita Singh, President of the WGAI, said “It’s a privilege to host another edition of the Hero Women’s Indian Open. The tournament has grown over the years and I would like to thank our title sponsors Hero MotoCorp Ltd for supporting us. The Hero Women’s Indian Open has played a key role for the development of golf in the country and it has also helped Indian golfers by giving them an opportunity to compete against the best in the world. On behalf of Women’s Golf Association of India, I would also like to thank the Ladies European Tour and the Ladies Asian Golf Tour for their continued support of the event.