WGAI launch historic DLF Women's Indian Open
a historic move, the Women's Golf Association of India (WGAI - Pro
Golf) announced the launch of the biggest and richest ever event
in the history of Indian women's golf, at a press conference in
the Capital on Monday.
The USD 100,000 'DLF Women's Indian Open', will be played over
the par 72 Arnold Palmer designed DLF Golf & Country Club from
March 14-16 2007 as the fourth-leg on the prestigious Ladies Asian
Golf Tour (LAGT).
The DLF Women's Indian Open will witness an 85 strong field lock
horns for the winner's cheque of USD 15,000. The runner-up will
benefit to the tune of USD 10,000, while the third placed professional
will get to take home a sum of USD 7,500.
Among the leading participants will be American Libby Smith, currently
ranked second on the LAGT Order of Merit. Japan will have the maximum
number of participants totaling to 15. Thailand (13), Korea (10)
and Chinese Taipei (8) will provide the other major challengers.
The six strong Indian(professional challenge will be led by Smriti
Mehra who has won all three events she has played on the DLF Women's
Professional Golf Tour this season. Smriti is of course better known
for becoming the first and only Indian to make it to the prestigious
LPGA Tour. Also in the fray will be the dangerous Irina Brar who
recently proved her prowess on an international stage with a tied-18
th place finish at the Hong Kong Open in January 2007. Irina currently
leads the Order of Merit table on the domestic DLF Women's Professional
Golf Tour. Irina and Smriti tally Rs.1,32,529 and Rs 1,13,200 respectively
on the Tour's Order of Merit.
In addition, there will be as many as ten Indian amateurs competing
in the field including known names like Meghna Bal, South African
star amateur Yushira Budhram, Shruti Khanna and Tanya Wadhwa who
first hit the headlines by winning the 2002 Callaway World Junior
Also present will be reigning English Ladies Amateur Champion and
the youngest European on the Ladies European Tour, Kiran Matharu.
Matharu finished third in the Qualifying School this year. Looking
forward to her first professional tournament in Asia at the DLF
Women's Indian Open. Matharu said, "I am very excited about
playing in the DLF Women's Indian Open. I came to India for the
first time in December to visit my family and friends and have been
waiting for this tournament as it will be a very special week for
Matharu won the 'Sony Entertainment Television Asia 2006, Female
Junior Sports Personality Award' for the second successive year.
Among the other Indians participating will be the likes of Parnita
Garewal and Shalini Malik. Both girls, turned professional in year
2006 and while Parnita has two second and as many third place finishes
in six appearances on the DLF Women's Professional Golf Tour, Shalini
has three runner-up finishes to her credit.
"This is indeed a historic moment for Indian Women's Golf,"
said Mr. Satish Tandon, President of WGAI (Pro Golf). "We have
been working ardently for the empowerment of the Indian sportswoman
and an event of the stature of the 'DLF Women's Indian Open' presents
her with an ideal platform to launch into full view of the global
golfing audience and at the same time realize her immense potential,"
he added. "I would like to thank DLF and all the other sponsors
for their support without which this dream could never come true,"
"On behalf of DLF, I would like to state that it gives us
great pleasure to host an event of the stature of the 'DLF Women's
Indian Open'," said Ms. Kavita Singh, of DLF. "As a golfing
woman myself, I know the enormous potential the Indian woman golfer
harbours which till date has been dormant chiefly due to lack of
opportunity to exhibit itself. With the advent of a structured professional
Tour for women and now through the 'DLF Women's Indian Open', the
entire golfing scenario for Indian women will undergo a sea change."
"I am extremely excited about the 'DLF Women's Indian Open',"
said Smriti Mehra. "After nearly nine years on the LPGA Tour,
I know what it takes to succeed on an international stage. Had I
had the opportunity of honing my skills in a mega event like the
'DLF Women's Indian Open' I would have performed far better in the
United States ," she said. "Today that very opportunity
is offered to the Indian woman golfer on a platter. The ball is
in her court and she has to make the best of it," she added.
The DLF Golf and Country Club is all spruced up for the event.
The course has in the past tested the skills of some of the biggest
names in world golf including the former No. 1 golfer in the world,
Vijay Singh. The very challenging lay-out promises to test the women
on two counts, accuracy and distance. Both are required in equal
measure for success on this magnificent golfing facility. The course
is peppered with strategically placed bunkers and water-bodies which
threaten to swallow any errant or miscued golf ball. Overall, there
is a lot of excitement in store at the 'DLF Women's Indian Open'
as the crème of Asia 's golfing talent tries to get the better
of a world class golf course.
February 26, 2007