Aditi Ashok, Carlota Ciganda look to light up Women’s Indian Open golf
A total of 114 golfers will be in action at the Women’s Indian Open which starts in Gurugram from Fridayother sports Updated: Nov 09, 2017 21:29 IST
Keep aside the luxury quotient, hopping in and out of flights and hotels, and living out of suitcases; life on tour takes a toll on the body and mind alike. Following a regimen is known to bring down stress, still it’s the mind that needs extra care, as that’s where golf is played. As the highest-ranked player (world No 20) at the Hero Women’s Indian Open, Carlota Ciganda knows a thing or two on competing consistently, and successfully, at the highest level.
A self-proclaimed “fan of all Spanish athletes”, the 27-year-old from Pamplona is of course inspired by Sergio Garcia, but getting to know Rafael Nadal from close quarters and the lessons shared over some golf stand out.
“Even on the course, his work ethics were unbelievable. He is a great example of an athlete,” said Carlota at the DLF Golf & Country Club. The tenacity and refusal to give up (even in a sphere outside Nadal’s domain) rubbed off on the two-time winner on the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA).
Carlota misses the camaraderie on the Ladies European Tour (LET), that’s where she began, but the LPGA is the place to be. “Turning out against the best every week makes you better in the face of fierce competition.”
If the pursuit of success entails shutting out the world, then so be it. If feathers are ruffled on the way, never mind. Asked about her aloofness from the media, Aditi Ashok attributed it to perception. “I don’t avoid them (reporters), In fact, during a tournament I make it an effort to reach out. But if they do more than what’s required, I stay away as being focused is more important,” said the defending champion.
Yet to take a call on setting up base in the US to pursue her dreams on the LPGA more freely, getting better at golf means Aditi is travelling a lot more. Senior pro Belen Mozo is aware of the effect of travel on the body and mind.
Renowned on tour for her fitness regime, the Spaniard, tied second here last year, is perplexed by the lack of awareness on the need to stay fit. “It’s funny that a lot of people visualize us spending 22 hours at the driving range. They don’t understand why we work out. Given our schedules, it can be extremely tiring. More than the body, a lot of work goes into the mind, as that might give in.”
Up against a course this week that puts even the A-game to test, the mind could be a potent ally in the circumstances.
Field: 114 players
Prize money: $400,000
Defending champion: Aditi Ashok
Venue: DLF Golf & Country Club
Dates: 10-12 November
Indians in fray: 17 (including 4 amateurs)