| Ann-Kathrin Lindner became a first-time winner in the Czech Republic
Rising star Ann-Kathrin Lindner sounded confident of securing a strong finish on her first visit to India for this month’s Hero Women’s Indian Open, taking place from November 28-30 at the Delhi Golf Club.
The German rookie, playing her first season as a professional on the Ladies European Tour, has been able to relax on course following her dramatic one-shot victory in the HONMA Pilsen Golf Masters in August.
A strong finish in the penultimate event of the 2013 Ladies European Tour season would cap a memorable rookie year for Lindner, who will celebrate her 26th birthday during the second round on November 29.
“I think when you go to a new golf course it’s always the same: it doesn’t matter what country. I think it will be a great tournament and I’m looking forward to playing well in my last two tournaments this year. I want to have a good ending to the season,” said Lindner, ranked 22nd on the ISPS HANDA Order of Merit after 14 events played.
“My victory in Pilsen means a lot but it should not be the only one so I’m working hard to be successful. I want to be in the top ten on the European Tour and I want to be a player that the younger ones looking up to.”
She will be working on the short game in the Allianz Indoor Arena at Golf Club St. Leon-Rot, host venue to The 2015 Solheim Cup, in order to maximise her chances at the final two events of the season in India and at the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters.
“My game is so-so. Sometimes the long game is amazing and better than ever but I think that the key to my win is that I improved my putting a lot and it’s so important to save pars or make more birdies. It was a long season and I want to have a week off, go to Belgium, meet some friends and then I will prepare for two weeks for India, good work outs, to be strong enough for the two weeks. It will be hard in the sun and the heat. I heard its cold now in Germany but I’m happy to have this indoor centre so I can practice my short game,” said Lindner, who loves football training to take her mind off golf when at home in Germany.
Also included in the field are internationally-renowned Ladies European Tour (LET) stars Gwladys Nocera of France, Norwegian Marianne Skarpnord and English rookies Charley Hull and Holly Clyburn, battling for the Rolex Rookie of the Year title, along with Lindner.
The US$ 300,000 (Euros 225,000) event - tri-sanctioned by the Ladies European Tour (LET), the Ladies Asian Golf Tour (LAGT) and Women's Golf Association of India (WGAI) - will also see the LPGA Symetra Tour Money leader for 2013 P.K. Kongkraphan of Thailand in action.
The tournament, which for the first time will be hosted at the historic Delhi Golf Club between November 28th to 30th will have a stellar playing field of 108 golfers from more than 30 countries.
Though the final list of golfers will be known as the tournament dates come closer, confirmations have also been received from Sharmila Nicollet, who is the youngest Indian to have qualified for the LET, current Hero Order of Merit leader Neha Tripathi and Smriti Mehra, a former LPGA player. Young stars like Vani Kapoor, Saaniya Sharma and Ankita Tiwana will also be adding strength to the Indian challenge at the event.