Playing Hero Women’s Indian Open on home turf most comforting for Tvesa Malik
Gurugram, October 11:After a great 2021 when she came within a whisker of picking up her maiden Ladies European Tour win in Switzerland, Tvesa Malik, one of the Indian regulars on the Tour, has had a bit of a low season in 2022.
So, it is only natural that even as she plays in New York this week, Tvesa cannot wait to tee up at home at the Hero Women’s Indian Open next week from October 20-23, 2022.
Gurugram has been home for her, though she has travelled with her father Aloke and mother, Ritu, all over the world. Golf and travel have now become part of her life and she does love both. Yet, having gone to her school in Gurugram and graduating from Jesus & Mary College in Delhi, playing at the DLF Golf & Country Club, the regular venue for Hero Women’s Indian Open, is most comforting for Tvesa.
She also has great memories of the event, where she first played as a teenager in 2011. She played again in 2015 but missed the cut both times. As a pro, she got a start in 2017 but missed the cut yet again. Finally, in 2018 she established herself as a pro with a promise. Tvesa tied for 13th at the HWIO in 2018 and finally logged the first Top-10 at her own National Open in 2019 when she finished T-6. The 2020 and 2021 editions of the HWIO could not be staged due to the pandemic, so Tvesa is keen to get down to work this year.
“I love the DLF Golf & Country Club and the Hero Women’s Indian Open,” says Tvesa. As for her showing at the US$ 400,000 HWIO, which is backed by her own sponsor, Hero MotoCorp, she laughed and said, “It is getting better.”
2021 was quite easily her best year in pro golf. Searching for her maiden win on the LET, Tvesa started 2021 well with a T-23 finish in South Africa and T-10 in Italy, where she was in contention early into the third and final rounds and even shared the lead for a brief while.
There was a time when she was playing non-stop in 2021. Travelling from one city to another, one country to another, she recalled, “I forget how many times I got tested (for Covid). I could not get back home and then back to Europe.” So she stayed on and kept playing, “growing and learning each week” but was tired by the end of it all.
When she closed the 2021 season, her report card looked great at 19th on the LET Order of Merit. She had 5 Top-10 finishes, including runner-up at Gant Ladies Open. Her Top-10s came in Ladies Italian (T-10), Jabra Ladies (T-6), Gant Ladies T-2), Saudi International (T-9) and Aramco Series Individual (T-10). She was also T-11 at VP Bank Swiss Ladies and T-12 at Lacoste Ladies Open de France.
“It was a great season,” said Tvesa, who then hoped to build on it in 2022, climb further in rankings and hopefully get her first win.
Alas, that did not quite work out.
It has been tough going in 2022. Not a single Top-10 and a bunch of missed cuts – nine in 23 starts. “I was playing well in patches, but things did not come together for three or four rounds,” she recalled.
Now Tvesa is keen to get a good finish in the closing events of the season, the two Aramco Series events in New York and Jeddah. And of course, the Hero Women’s Indian Open. That will help her finish well on the Order of Merit and ensure a good number of starts.
For the record, Tvesa had Top-10 finishes in both the Saudi International and Aramco Series Individual in 2021, and in 2019 in her last appearance at the Hero Women’s Indian Open, she was Tied-sixth. The DLF Golf and Country Club and Gurugram give her a feeling of great comfort, for it was here that she started off on a golf programme while at the Scottish High School.
The girl, who got hooked on the game, collecting golf balls while volunteering as a kid, is now dreaming big, but before that, she needs to end the 2022 season with a strong finish.