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Indian women's golf set for grand makeover


Himanshu Singhal,CNN-IBN
Mar 24, 2008 at 09:40pm IST

New Delhi: 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. As CNN-IBN reports, 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 were 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 $120,000 purse.

"Everyone comes out to support me. But on the other side of it, it could be sometimes a distraction, because you have to stay focussed on just your own game and not worry about all the people coming out to support you," says Tanya Wadhwa.

"The condition of the course, the greens and the type of grass, the Indian players will be more accustomed to those, but everyone's got a good shot," adds British golfer Danielle Montgomery.

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

While there is still a long way to go before we get to see the likes of Annika Sorenstam competing in India, most believe the emergence of women's golf in India in the past two years has been both delightful as well as amazing.

"I'm really surprised. We have two international events, a European Tour event for women in Bangalore. And I think a lot of other people are surprised of how quickly the tour is growing," says Smriti Mehra.

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 just $120,000, a lot of the European players feel it's not worth their while to come to India," explains Kavita Singh, Vice President of the Women's Golfers Association of India.

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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