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Mar 25, 2008 at 12:16pm IST

Ind women growing in golf by leaps and bounds

Gurgaon: Men's professional golf in India is at an all time high, with two European tour events held this year. But the women aren't too far behind.The women's professional golf circuit has its road-map for future ready too.

Young Indian golf sensation Tania Wadhwa along with some of best names in Asian and European Women's golf, at the launch of DLF Indian Women's Open at the DLF Golf and Country Club in Gurgaon. The 16-year old, fresh after a stint at the Leadbetter academy will spearhead the Indian challenge, along with tour veterans Smriti Mehra, Irina Brar and Shalini Malik for the $120 thousand purse.

"Everybody comes out to support me, but at times it can be a distraction. You just have to focus on your game and not get distracted by the people who come out to support you," says Tania Wadhwa.

"With the conditions and the grass, the Indian players probably are more accustomed to it. But everyone has a got a good shot," says Danielle.

There is still a long time to go before we see the likes of Annika Sorenstam compete in India. Most believe the emergence of golf in India in the past two years has been both delightful and amazing.

"We have two international events, we have the European tour event for women in Bangalore. A lot of other people are surprised as to how quickly the tour is growing," says Smriti Mehra.

The tournament will be played over 54 holes with only 50 players making it to the last round.

Three years ago, Smriti's win in the first-ever pro event in India had sparked off a major interest in women's golf in the country...but there is still some way to go.

Since the prize money is only $120 thousand, a lot of European players feel it is not worth the while to come to India," says Kavita.

Indian players are hopeful of a local winner this time and that will surely help take women's golf to even greater heights in the country.

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