Scotland’s Michele Thomson, who came so close to grabbing her maiden Ladies European Tour title, is hoping to go one better and fill that gap in her resume by winning the 2018 Hero Women’s Indian Open. The Scottish pro took a three-shot lead into the final round and seemed to have everything under control, before unravelling in the closing stages and losing by one shot to French golfer, Camille Chevalier. Yet, it was Michele’s career-best finish.
And now she wants more at the latest edition, which starts tomorrow at DLF Golf and Country Club.
The 30-year-old Thomson was seen as a prodigy as a teen. She won numerous amateur titles and was in the Curtis Cup team before turning pro at 20. But she felt lonely on the Tour and gave up the game to take up the job of a beat constable in Scottish police.
She quit that two years later and worked at a golf course, owned by US President, Donald Trump, who she even met once. Though she worked at a golf course, she did not play golf, till, in 2013, her love for golf re-surfaced, while watching it on TV. By 2014 she was slowly coming back and played some events in 2014 and 2015. She did not play on LET in 2016 but was back in 2017 and she did extremely well, including finishing second in India. And now she is back in India, hoping for another fine finish and make the LET card for 2019.
Thomson has great memories of the 2017 edition when she posted a course record eight-under-par 64 in the second round of the 2017 event which helped her take the lead, but she was unable to convert that into a historic win.
After finishing third in the Pro-Am on Wednesday, Thomson said: “I’m super excited to be back. The course has obviously been lengthened a little bit this year, but it feels like the same kind of place and I’m excited to get going. I’m playing well again and I’ve got good memories from here, so hopefully, I can go one better.
“I’m approaching it in exactly the same way as last year. I am looking for a good finish. I need a good finish this week, but just want to enjoy it and play sensibly. You don’t want to be too aggressive around this golf course, but hit the fairways and the right parts of the greens and you’ll be scoring well.”
Thomson is 90th on the Ladies European Tour order of merit and wants to move back inside the top 80 to be assured of her full card for next year. She has made six cuts from 10 starts, including a season-best finish of 15th place in the Canberra Classic, but winning two medals at the European Championships in Glasgow in August gave the 30-year-old from Aberdeen a massive confidence boost.
She arrives in India in form after a 49th place finish in the Lacoste Ladies Open de France and a 33rd in the Estrella Damm Mediterranean Ladies Open in Spain.
She added: “I just want to enjoy the week and the same kind of outcome as last year would be ideal.
“I’ve got one of my friends, Jenna Hunter, who plays on the ALPG and is a New Zealand PGA Pro, as my caddie. She’s a great player and a very good green reader and that is needed this week as the greens are quite extravagant. I’m excited to get going.”
Thomson tees off at the 10th in the first group of the afternoon wave at 11.10 AM local time on Thursday in the company of Marianne Skarpnord and Holly Clyburn.