Jordan Masters: Diksha Dagar looking forward to making history

The 18-year-old from Haryana, who is only the second player from India to win on the LET after Aditi Ashok in 2016, said it would be ‘big’ to win the first tournament.

Diksha Dagar will be looking to create history. (File Photo)   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Diksha Dagar, who became the youngest Indian woman to win on the Ladies European Tour in the Investec South African Women’s Open in Cape Town last month, will be looking to “make history” at this week’s inaugural Jordan Mixed Open.

The 18-year-old from Haryana, who is only the second player from India to win on the LET after Aditi Ashok in 2016, said it would be ‘big’ to win the first tournament to bring male, female and senior golfers together in one field to compete for the same prize, worth USD 60,465.

The 123-player field comprises 40 players from each of the European Challenge Tour, the over 50s Staysure Tour and the Ladies European Tour, as well as three high-level amateur golfers.

The 54-hole stroke play event features a cut to the top 60 players and ties after 36 holes, ahead of the final round on Saturday. The player with the lowest score will be crowned the champion.

“The aim is to play good golf and it would be big to win the first tournament of its kind, it would be history making,” said Dagar.

“Anybody who wins from the LET side would certainly make history and I’m sure that others would get inspired and follow. We have similar formats in other games such as badminton, wrestling, and so on, so it is now just a matter of time that there will be something of a mixed nature in professional golf in India,” she added.

The unique tournament will be played at Ayla Golf Club in Aqaba, Jordan.

Ayla Golf Club is part of Ayla Oasis, a waterfront development situated along Jordan’s Red Sea coast. Players will compete from one of three sets of tees, based on which tour they play, on the first all grass championship golf course in the country.

The Ladies European Tour players will compete from approximately 6,139 yards, whereas the Staysure Tour and European Challenge Tour players will compete from approximately 6,601 and 7,100 yards respectively.

The LET’s leading rookie professional Dagar says that the course presents a totally different challenge to Westlake Golf Club in Cape Town, where she won her maiden title last month.

“The greens are different from South Africa and they are quite firm. The fairways are also firm and you have some tight lies, whereas in South Africa the fairways were soft. It is my first time here and playing in such an event, so let’s see what’s going to happen. I will just play my normal game, no matter what the situation.”

Dagar’s win in South Africa, which came so early in her career, garnered wide coverage in the national newspapers and on the Sports Authority of India’s social media, while the Delhi Sports Journalists Association honoured her at a ceremony last week.

“I was so happy when I won the tournament. I got so many messages through Instagram saying congratulations and it felt really good to have so many compliments from people. It has created a lot of buzz in sports in India,” she said.

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