NEW DELHI -- The Indian challenge at the 7th edition of the Hero Women's Indian Open will be led by the young brigade of Sharmila Nicollet, Vani Kapoor and Neha Tripathi. Veteran Indian golfer Smriti Mehra will also be seen in action when the tournament commences at the Delhi Golf Club (DGC).
The only Ladies European Tour (LET) event in India in its seventh edition will see a change of venue for the first time as the DGC plays host to this prestigious tournament. With a playing field of 106, this tournament will see the likes of Gwladys Nocera of France, Holly Clyburn and LET rookie Charley Hull from England, Sophie Gustafson of Sweden and Chung Ye Na from South Korea in action.
There will be a total of 19 Indian golfers in the fray including seven amateurs.
Gwladys Nocera, the latest Ladies European Tour winner, who won her 12th title at the recent Suzhou Taihu Ladies Open in China, will be the top draw in what promises to be an exciting contest in the pleasant weather of Delhi.
Another player to look out for is South Korean golfer Chung Ye Na. She said, "This is my first visit to India and I am loving the weather here. I had the best finish of my career few weeks ago at the Sanya Ladies Open in China, where I finished third and I am hopeful of continuing the same form here."
The $300,000 Hero Women's Indian Open is tri-sanctioned by the Ladies European Tour, Ladies Asian Golf Tour and the Women's Golf Association of India. This event will be a great opportunity for the young Indian golfers to rub shoulders with some of the finest players from across the world. Sharmila, the youngest Indian to have qualified for the LET Tour and currently the lone Indian on the Tour, is recovering from a toe injury and is keen to make a mark at the DGC. The injury forced the golfer to take rest for three months. She has been working really hard, is confident of doing well in her home country and also hopeful of securing her LET card for next season.
Local girl Vani Kapoor and the winner of the last two legs of the Hero Women's Professional Golf Tour is upbeat about her chances and confident of putting up a great show in front of the home crowd. She said, "The course is looking good, both the greens and fairways are in great shape and I am confident of my chances here this week."
Veteran Indian golfer, Smriti Mehra, a former LPGA player is also aiming to finish up the leaderboard. Neha Tripathi, who currently leads the domestic Hero Order of Merit, has won a tournament at the DGC earlier this season and will look forward to capitalize on her knowledge of the course. She said playing alongside the top-flight LET players would be a great learning experience for her. "Home crowd support is definitely going to be advantageous for us. There will be a burden of expectations on Indian golfers, but the tournament will provide us a great opportunity to learn a lot of things from seasoned LET players." Neha has been the winner of five events on the Hero Women's Professional Golf Tour this year.
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