European, Asian stars vie for top honours at Women’s Indian Open

February 20th, 2009 - 7:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Gurgaon, Feb 20 (IANS) Leading women golfers from Asia and Europe will tee along with India’s best in the DLF Women’s Indian Open starting at the DLF Golf and Country Club here Wednesday.
The third edition of India’ only Ladies Asian Golf Tour (LAGT) event will tee-off with the pro-am Tuesday while the three day main event will be played from Wednesday. The tournament offers $120,000 in prize purse. The format of the event will witness the cut being applied after two days with the top 50 golfers plus ties making it to the final round.

The international challenge will be led by defending champion, Thailand’s Pornanong Phatlum who skyrocketed to fame last year when she recorded back-to-back triumphs at the Thailand Ladies Open and the DLF Women’s Indian Open. She finished the season at second position on the Money List with earnings of $43,620.

The Indian challenge will be led by Smriti Mehra. She was the first ever Indian to qualify for the prestigious Ladies PGA Tour way back in 1998. Last season, despite undergoing a major surgery, the stocky golfer went on to finish a creditable seventh on the LAGT Money List with prize money earnings of $23,208.

“I am keenly looking forward to competing at the DLF Women’s Indian Open,” said Smriti. “I won’t be able to rest in peace after I retire if I don’t win the Indian Open. A win at her National Open is one that any golfer would want under her belt and I am going for nothing short of gold this time,” she added.

Besides Smriti, there will be some serious challenge coming from the likes of Nalini Singh, Saania Sharma, Pallavi Jain and Sharmila Nicollette.

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