In over three decades, nothing has served Indian golf better than a home-grown talent winning a dollar-event.
In contrast to the men’s sport, ladies golf has had a slow growth but promises to catch up fast. Thanks to the exploits of Aditi Ashok, the rise in the number of Indian professionals and their increased participation on the Ladies European Tour (LET), the growth is expected to quicker than what was anticipated a few seasons ago.
The $400,000 Hero Women’s Indian Open is back after a Covid-forced break following the 2019 edition at the DLF Golf and Country Club here. Though there is no clear ‘home’ advantage for the 24 professionals and six amateurs here, the event offers Aditi, the 2016 winner, and others to showcase their improved skill-sets.
Besides Aditi, Tvesa Malik who posted seven top-10 finishes on the LET, will be watched with added interest.
A very competitive field of 114 players, from 25 countries, includes eight players from the top-18 on the LET Order of Merit. Third-ranked Johanna Gustavsson, the favourite on form, is aware of the capabilities of Magdalena Simmermacher (5th), Meghan MacLaren (6th) and Anna Pelaez Trivino (7th).
In fact, the presence of five winners from this year’s Tour - Meghan (Australian Classic), Ana Pelaez Trivino (Madrid Open), Tiia Koivisto (Jabra Open), Anne-Charlotte Mora (Aaland 100 Open) and Johanna (a member of the Aramco Team Series New York) forms the creamy layer.
Four former champions - Caroline Hedwall (2011), Aditi (2016), Camillie Chevalier (2018) and defending champion Christine Wolf (2019) - threaten to make things difficult for those title-aspirants who are in better form this season.