|2011 winner Caroline Hedwall accepts the trophy at DLF Golf and Country Club
The Ladies European Tour returns to DLF Golf and Country Club in Gurgaon, near New Delhi, for the third successive year to contest the highly sought after Hero Women’s Indian Open, from Friday.
The LET’s members will particularly look forward to playing this magnificent golf course after recent course upgrades, which will provide an even better test of golf.
Defending champion Caroline Hedwall of Sweden will be looking to notch a sixth LET victory after collecting her fourth title as a rookie professional at the venue 12 months ago.
The Swede fired rounds of 67, 68 and 69 over the course to post a winning three-round total of 204, 12 under par and end two clear of Thailand’s Pornanong Phatlum, with Welshwoman Becky Morgan a stroke further behind in third.
England’s Laura Davies will be returning to the site of her last LET victory two years ago, in 2010 and will look to continue her love affair with the reachable par-five 18th hole.
Davies eagled the hole to make a four-way play-off with South African Tandi Cuningham, Thailand’s Nontaya Srisawang and Swede Louise Friberg in 2010. She then birdied the hole to win the tournament. “I love the 18th at DLF,” she said.
There are six of this year’s tournament champions in the field with Cassandra Kirkland, Carlota Ciganda, Stacey Keating, Caroline Hedwall, Carly Booth and Karen Lunn.
Recent Sanya Ladies Open champion Kirkland will be looking to continue her solid play and especially as her previous career best finish was fifth at this golf course in India two years ago.
“Already I had quite a bit of confidence going back because I like the course and I always play well there. Coming from a win I think I’ll have a lot of confidence and hopefully I can do something good in India,” said the 28-year-old from Paris.
Spanish LET rookie Ciganda, who is leading the ISPS Handa Order of Merit after two victories this season in the Netherlands and China, will be playing in India for the first time. She said: “I like to travel and see new countries, new things.”
With Caroline Masson missing India due to her LPGA Q-School playing commitments, Ciganda has a clear opportunity to move further ahead and commented: “For me it’s good that she’s not playing because she’s going to Q-School but there is still Dubai and a lot of money so if I don’t play well and she plays well, she can beat me easily, so I’m going to think about this week and see how it goes.”
Australian double-champion Stacey Keating, who won back-to-back events in Spain and France recently, is looking forward to returning to the DLF club having tied for 12th place last year. She said: “Obviously I’m very excited. I enjoyed the golf course. I didn’t see much last year to be honest, apart from the hotel and the golf course, but that was very nice. I’m looking forward to it.”
The 300,000USD tournament features 108 competitors and is tri-sanctioned by the LET, Ladies Asian Golf Tour (LAGT) and Women’s Golf Association of India (WGAi).
Hazy sunshine is forecast for the tournament with light north westerly winds and temperatures in the mid 20s.