New Delhi [India], September 22 (ANI): A strong field of past champions and current winners from the Ladies European Tour (LET) are confirmed for the Women's Indian Open 2022, which returns to action for the first time since 2019. The event will be staged at the DLF Golf and Country Club in Gurugram from October 20-23, 2022.
The event, which could not be held in the years 2020 and 2021 because of the Coronavirus pandemic, is coming back with one of the strongest fields in its history.
At least five past champions have already sent in their entries and more are likely to come through. Additionally, a host of winners in the 2021 and 2022 seasons have entered the event, which will see the participation of 114 golfers from as many as 20 countries from around the world.
The field also includes Aditi Ashok, India's first and only Women's Indian Open winner, who has since graduated from the LPGA. Aditi represented India with great distinction at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics 2021, where she lost out on a medal by a solitary stroke. She holds the Hero Women's Indian Open dear to her heart, as it is an event she has played since her amateur days.
All the top Indians led by Aditi have confirmed their participation. The line-up includes Tvesa Malik, who was 19th on the Ladies European Tour Order of Merit last season; Diksha Dagar, the 2019 South African Open Champion and 2022 Deaflympics Gold Medalist, Amandeep Drall and Vani Kapoor. Other prominent Indian names expected in action are Ridhima Dilawari, Gaurika Bishnoi and Neha Tripathi.
"Definitely it's at the same golf course where the Indian Open will be taking place at the DLF golf and country club. And also comes at a good time. We have the National Games in a week. So, two really important events coming up and giving me just the boost of confidence I needed and I am really looking forward to seeing how the next two events go for me," Gaurika Bishnoi told ANI.
"I am very excited because I have prepared a lot for this event and I have been practising and preparing. It is just a matter of time before I want to get on the field. and try out how much I have improved my game. Last time I played as an amateur. It was an eye-opening event for me because it told me where I was and I need to practice. Now I am playing as a professional so I hope to do well," Jahanvi Bakshi told ANI.
"I am very excited. Honestly, as a professional, I am going to play for the first time and I am playing the second time so I am excited," Hitaashee Bakshi said.
"I am really excited. It's been a few years since we had an event in India. So, I am really excited to be able to play at DLF in the coming weeks," Ridhima Dilawari stated.
Pawan Munjal, Chairman & CEO, Hero MotoCorp, said "The Hero Women's Indian Open, a flagship event in Asia, is one of the biggest & most popular golf tournaments in the region. We are delighted to be back, and I am pleased to know that some of the most talented names on the Tour will be here in India. Our Indian women golfers are making rapid strides with some great performances in the International Tours. This will be one of the most exciting editions of Hero Women's Indian Open. I would like to thank the Ladies European Tour and the Women's Golf Association of India for their continued support of the event."
Among the former Champions who have sent in their early entries is the defending Champion from 2019, Christine Wolf; 2018 winner Becky Morgan; 2017 winner Camille Chevalier; 2016 Champion Aditi Ashok and 2011 winner Caroline Hedwall.
Indian women's golf, which has been on an upswing over the past few years, has seen the rise of young stars like Pranavi Urs, who has won five times in 12 domestic events, and other names such as Hitaashee Bakshi, Jahnavi Bakshi, Seher Atwal and Sneha Singh will keep the home fans enthralled.
Kavita Singh, President of the Women's Golf Association of India said "It is indeed gratifying that we stand today at the threshold of staging yet another edition of the Hero Women's Indian Open. With the challenges that the world has faced over the past two and a half years, it is indeed a relief to see that the worst is behind us.
"The WGAI is looking forward to welcoming the players and officials from the LET once again. The world today is a different place from the one in 2019 when Christine Wolf took home the trophy, and the strength of Indian women's professional golf has increased exponentially during this intervening period. I am sure that our Indian players are going to be strong contenders at the tournament, and we cannot wait to see the competition unfold. On behalf of the WGAI, a big thank you to Hero MotoCorp and Dr Pawan Munjal for standing by us through this difficult time."
The Women's Indian Open was first held in 2007 and since 2010 it has been a part of the Ladies European Tour as well as sponsored by Hero MotoCorp. (ANI)