Tvesa leads the local Order of Merit on the Hero Women’s Professional Golf Tour.
New Delhi: Defending champion, French golfer Camille Chevalier leads the international starcast, alongside 2011 champion, Sweden’s Caroline Hedwall, Australian Sarah Kemp and the leading Ladies European Tour rookie this year, Swedish Julia Engstrom in a strong field that has assembled for the Hero Women’s Indian Open, which gets underway in Gurgaon on Thursday.
Local challenge includes Vani Kapoor, India’s top player at the event last year, and Tvesa Malik, playing her first HWIO as a professional. Tvesa leads the local Order of Merit on the Hero Women’s Professional Golf Tour.
“I have been practicing at the Le National in France before coming here. That is not my home course, but is tough and great preparation for the HWIO.
“The rough is quite big there and as challenging as at this course. It was great winning last year and was a big moment for me. I am very excited to be back to defend the title,” Chevalier said.
Hedwall, the 2011 champion, now 29, seeks to become only the second player to win the Indian Open more than once. She has already won the Lacoste Open de France this season and is looking solid. Sarah Kemp, 32, from Australia, still winless on LET, has three Top-5 finishes this year including Lalla Meryem Cup (2nd) and Lacoste Ladies Open de France (3rd). She is fifth on the Order of Merit this year.
Amandeep, Gaurika among early starters
Amandeep Drall will be the earliest top Indian to tee off on Thursday morning at 6.55 am with Felicity Johnson and Karolin Lampert, while Gaurika Bishnoi will play the first round with Korea’s A Hyeon Kim and Thai player, Pannarat Thanapolboonyaras and they tee off at 7.05 am from the first.
India’s best finisher at tied-6th in 2017, Vani has been paired with Eleanor Givens of England and Noora Komulainen of Finland at 7.35 am from the 10th tee, while talented amateur, Diksha Dagar plays with Lucie Andre and Indian pro Siddhi Kapoor at 7.45 am from the tenth tee.