USHA All India Ladies Amateur Golf Championship: Diksha Dagar,Tavesha Malik favourites for national women's tourney

Diksha DagarNew Delhi: Diksha Dagar and Tvesa Malik will be among the favourites when the 100th edition of the USHA All India Ladies Amateur Golf Championship starts here on Monday.

The duo, who are the top two in the national ladies rankings, are inspired by Aditi Ashok who represented India at the Rio Olympics.

They are aiming to win the upcoming tournament at the Delhi Golf Club and go on to emulate their idol's exploits at the international stage.

"I just feel that I want to keep improving. There are so many tournaments that I want to play. We have realised the level of competition there is. So we need to play these tournaments just to keep improving and get to that level where we are good enough to compete and win against the international teams," Dagar told reporters here on Friday.

"So the aim is to just keep working hard and trying to get there as quickly as I can."

Dagar asserted that watching Aditi compete at the Olympics was extremely inspirational for women's golfers in India and is looking forward to competing against her in future tournaments.

"Of course she is very inspiring. She came to the DLF Open where we all played. I have known her since she started playing here. She used to play the amateur tournaments as well. So its been really great to just watch her, see how she has improved and see someone get to where we want to be," she said.

"She did talk about how amazing it was. She has been to the Games Village and she said it was just a great experience to be there among all the athletes. She was very inspired by the environment there," Dagar added.

"It is great to see that Aditi Ashok is performing really well. She is the first Indian to win the European Tour in India. It is very nice to see that she is performing very well," Malik said.

This edition of the tournament will see top Indian women amateurs take on their counterparts from South Africa, Ireland, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Scotland and Sri Lanka.

With defending champion Gaurika Bishnoi turning professional, this year's top names include Sifat Sagoo, Amrita Anand, Seher Atwal, Anika Varma and Ridhima Dilawari, besides Dagar and Malik.

The event will start with a 36-hole strokeplay qualifier which will pave the way for the 32 best to go through to the matchplay format.

"This year has been very good. Diksha, me and Gaurika, who turned pro this year, travelled to Thailand, Mexico, Korea and China, so we have a lot of experience. A lot of teams who will be coming here, we have played against them this year," Malik said.

"It is our biggest event. Many international teams are participating for the first time. I am looking forward to it."