Golfer Diksha Dagar seeks better fortunes with ‘Major’ lessons

Dagar is aiming for her second win of the season at the Euro 120,000 Tipsport Czech Ladies Open, wherein she will be the lone Indian representative in the 138-player strong international field.

Diksha is currently ranked 14th on the LET Order of Merit and second on the Rookie list, with a win and a Top 10 finish -- T5th at the NSW Open -- under her belt this season.   -  Getty Images

Young Indian golfer Diksha Dagar, the current runner-up on the Rookie of the Year rankings, is aiming for her second win of the season at the Euro 120,000 Tipsport Czech Ladies Open which tees off on Friday.

The 18-year-old golfer is the lone Indian representative in the 138-player strong international field which includes 50 from Ladies European Tour (LET), 50 from LET Access Series (LETAS), 10 Federation exchanges, 10 promoter LET invites and 18 Czech Golf Federation invites.

Diksha’s last three professional outings include the Major debut at the Evian Championship, followed by the AIG Women’s British Open and the Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open.

She said the experience of playing in the Majors was a great learning experience even though she missed the cut in all three.

“The season so far has been good. This year I have played in three huge tournaments including two majors. It was a great experience and I came to know about what I need to do to prepare in future,” said the 16-year-old, who had won a Deaflympics Silver medal for India in 2017.

“When I played my first major it was completely different level of golf. It was quite tough."

Diksha, who suffered from a complete hearing impairment for first six years of her life, is currently ranked 14th on the LET Order of Merit and second on the Rookie list, with a win and a Top 10 finish -- T5th at the NSW Open -- under her belt this season.

“The courses were very long with thick grass. The greens were pretty fast. The world’s top players were in the field, they hit very long. I need to improve my distance to compete against them. But this experience has made me stronger. It has made me confident that ‘Yes, I can do it!’,” she said.

“I have learned what has to be done to compete at Majors. I have to improve my fitness and it is a crucial part of the game. If I can improve my fitness I can reach the green on a par 5 in two shots easily, which will create birdie opportunities.

“I also have to improve my putting skills. At the Majors, the greens are tricky and super-fast. The green speed goes around 11 or 12,” she added.

Having tested the waters at a couple of Majors already, Diksha is now raring to make an impact at Golf Resort Karltejn this week.

“This is a challenging course, lots of up and down. Yesterday, I played the front nine and I did the back nine today. The fairways and greens are soft because of the rain. I also saw the beautiful Karltejn Castle over the mountain,” said Diksha.

The second-ranked player on the Rookie of the Year list, Diksha is also aiming to fight for the Top Rookie honours on the LET.

“I am going to focus on the Rookie of the Year title. I remember, from my experiences in National Camps, what needs to be done to increase my strength so I am working on it. For golf, it’s important to strengthen your shoulders and the lower body as well, to get good distance and accuracy.

“I am also excited that, in a few weeks, I will get to play in my home country, in the Hero Women’s Indian Open. It is going to be fun. I am very confident all Indian girls will finish high at the Women’s Indian Open,” added Diksha before heading off to the putting green.