Hero Women’s Indian Open 2016: Pedersen to defend her title, Olympian Aditi to play her first LET event in country

Hero Womens Indian Open 16New Delhi: The Hero Women’s India Open 2016 was announced on Tuesday to tee off at the picturesque DLF Golf and Country Club, Gurgaon from November 7th to 13th, 2016.

The US $400,000 event, now in its 10th year, will see the likes of Emily Kristine Pedersen (Defending Champion + LET Rookie of the year 2015), Gwladys Nocera (Winner – Hero Women’s Indian Open 2014 + 14 LET victories), Beth Allen (#2 - LET OOM 2016 + Winner - ISPS Handa Ladies European Masters 2015) and Isabelle Boineau (#4 – LET OOM 2016 + Winner – Ladies Scottish Open 2016).

The flagship event, co-sanctioned by the Ladies European Tour (LET) and the Women’s Golf Association of India (WGAI) will also see LPGA star and world number 33, Brittany Lincicome in action for the first time in India. The professional from U.S.A. has two Majors Championships to her credit and has been a regular at the Solheim Cup since 2007. She will be keen to make an impact at the event and will seek to make her maiden trip to India a memorable one.

Commenting on Hero’s association with the Hero Women’s Indian Open for the seventh consecutive year, Pawan Munjal, Chairman, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, Hero MotoCorp Ltd, said “At Hero, we are committed to the cause of women’s golf in the country. The tournament offers an opportunity to talented young Indian golfers to test their skills against the best in the world. The Hero Women’s Indian Open has established itself as an important stop in the Ladies European Tour and the presence of top players speak of its growing stature in the world of Golf. We would also like to congratulate the Women’s

Golf Association of India for hosting the tournament for the past 10 years and look forward to another spectacular edition of the Hero Women’s Indian Open this year.”

The highly competitive and star-studded field will also include Indian Olympian Aditi Ashok, Vani Kapoor and Hero MotoCorp sponsored Sharmila Nicollet.  Aditi, playing as a rookie on the LET has had a dream year. She became the first Indian golfer to secure a top 10 finish on the tour, when she secured tied ninth position at the ISPS Handa Ladies European Masters and then bettered it with a sixth place finish at the Andalucia Costa Del Sol Open De Espana Femenino. She turned heads with her performance at the Rio Olympics where she was also the youngest golfer in the fray. She is currently placed third in the LET Rookie of the Year ranking and will be keen to move up the table with a strong performance at the tournament.

Another player who will be shouldering Indian hopes will be Vani Kapoor. She finished tied fifth at the Hong Kong Ladies Open and is currently leading the Hero Order of Merit with total earnings of INR 9, 49,150 and six victories. She will be playing on her home turf at the DLF Golf and Country Club and will lead the charge of a strong Indian contingent along with Hero MotoCorp sponsored Sharmila Nicollet and Amandeep Drall.

Speaking on the ocassion, Kavita Singh, President of the WGAI, said, “This year marks the landmark 10th edition of the Hero Women’s Indian Open and it has been an incredible journey to witness the development of this marquee event. It has carved a niche for itself in the world of golf and the presence of some of the top players bear testimony to this. I would like to thank our title sponsors, Hero MotoCorp Ltd. for their continued support to women’s professional golf in the country. On behalf of the Women’s Golf Association of India, I would also like to thank the Ladies European Tour for their support to the event.”

Defending champion Emily Pedersen claimed her maiden LET title here last year. She is currently placed ninth in the LET Order of Merit with total earnings of € 94,256.59 in 11 appearances. She will be eager for an encore at the only Gary Player designed golf course in India. However, it won’t be easy for the Dane as she will have to face a strong challenge from some of the best golfers from around the globe.

Ivan Khodabaksh, CEO of the Ladies European Tour, said “The Ladies European Tour is thrilled to be returning to DLF Golf and Country Club for the 10th anniversary edition of the Hero Women’s Indian Open. Over the last decade, the tournament has inspired a new generation of Indian golfers to walk alongside the giants of the professional women’s game and to follow their dreams to succeed at the highest level. This year, we were all extremely proud to see an Indian woman golfer, Aditi Ashok, qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and, alongside our strong partners, Hero MotoCorp Ltd. and the WGAI, we are determined to continue creating a strong legacy for women’s golf in India for years to come.”

The coveted tournament will be played at the DLF Golf and Country Club, India’s only Gary Player course located in Gurgaon.  The challenging signature ‘Black Knight’ course tested the best in the business last year with its dramatic land forms, rock quarries, large lakes and extensive landscaping. It is now all set to play host to another memorable Hero Women’s Indian Open.