Professionals Gets Down To Business At Hero Women’s Indian Open
Gurugram (India), October 17, 2018: With the preparations, the Skills Challenge and the Pro-Am out of the way over the first three days of the week, the stage is now set for the main event at the 2018 Hero Women’s Indian Open at the Gary Player course at the DLF Golf and Country Club.
Spaniard Silvia Banon won herself a two-night Swiss holiday courtesy Swiss Air after piloting her Pro-Am team to a win, while Caroline Hedwall looking for her second Hero Women’s Indian Open title, showed her twin Jacqueline the course ahead of her caddying duties for next four days.
The defending champion Camille Chevalier and Astrid Vayson De Pradenne are all set after soaking in the sights of the National Capital Region and Julia Engstrom finally got her golf clubs which got lost en route from Europe to India. Some players have visited the Taj Mahal, while others will do so next week.
But now all 120 players, including the 17 Indians, are focused on the US$ 500,000 Hero Women’s Indian Open.
Engstrom spent a lot of the day practicing with her clubs, which finally landed in India this morning. “It is so good and comforting to get my clubs back,” said Engstrom, whose solid first season includes a T-5 finish at Lalla Meryem Cup and three Top-20 finishes in last four starts. She is also the leader in the race for the Rookie of the Year honours.
She could join four players who have won the Hero Women’s Indian Open in their Rookie season – Hedwall in 2011 and then Emily Pedersen in 2015, Aditi Ashok in 2016 and Camille Chevalier last year.
Talking of her sister, Hedwall said, “She hasn’t caddied for three years, so I’ll do the yardages. We have seen the course together these past few days,” said Hedwall, who will make her second appearance on the Gary Player Course at DLF G&CC this week. Since her last visit in 2016, the tournament has moved up in prize money to US$500,000 and the tournament will now be played over 72 holes and will have live international television coverage for the first time.
“I was here two years ago, but walking around today, I was really amazed by what has been done to the place. It’s looking incredible, the changes. It’s a really good looking course and a great challenge, so I’m excited to play,” she said.
Hedwall ended a six-year title drought this year while winning Lacoste Ladies Open de France in September this year. That pushed her to fourth on the Order of Merit, too. She was also second at the Estrella Damm Mediterranean Ladies Open a fortnight after the win in France.
She said, “I had a good start to the year in Australia but struggled a bit after that, but my game has felt really good. It’s just been fine margins most of the year and I missed cuts by one or two shots, but then coming out and winning in France was just huge for my confidence. I had a good finish in Spain, too, so I’m just really excited.”
Amandeep, Gaurika among early starters; Tvesa paired with Beth Allen and Hedwall Amandeep Drall will be the earliest top Indian to tee off on Thursday morning at 6.55 am with Felicity Johnson and Karolin Lampert, while Gaurika Bishnoi will play the first round with Korea’s A Hyeon Kim and Thai player, Pannarat Thanapolboonyaras and they tee off at 7.05 am from the first.
India’s best finisher at Tied-6th in 2017, Vani Kapoor has been paired with Eleanor Givens of England and Noora Komulainen of Finland at 7.35 am from the 10th tee, while talented amateur, Diksha Dagar plays with Lucie Andre and Indian pro Siddhi Kapoor at 7.45 am from the tenth tee.
The afternoon wave will see the leader on WGAI’s Hero Order of Merit, Tvesa Malik play alongside former Ladies European Tour Order of Merit winner Beth Allen and 2011 champion Caroline Hedwall at 11.10 am from the first tee.
Last year’s low amateur Pranav Urs, who has recently snared a US$ 100,000 golf scholarship in US, is paired with Becky Morgan and Vikki Laing and they tee off from the 10th at 12.10 pm. Before her, local amateur, SIfat Sagoo will go out with Sarah Schober and Stacy Lee Bergman from 10th at 11.40 am.
Fans can catch all the action, with live international television coverage in India on DSport. It will also be streamed live on the LET’s Website and Facebook pages in Belgium, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal and the UK for the first time.