SMRITI MEHRA will be the star attraction of the Women’s Indian Open golf tournament which tees off at the DLF Golf and Country club from Wednesday.
A total of 120 ladies professionals, both international and Indian, will compete along with 12 amateurs for a total purse of $1,20,000.
The event, to be played over 54 holes in strokeplay format, will see an increase of $20,000 in prize money.
“I give equal importance to every event I play,” said Mehra, who finished 10th at the recently held Thai Open.
“So the preparations I have put in for this event will be the same as any of the LPGA events I play. I know I am capable of winning this event.”
Mehra joins the LPGA tour immediately after this. Mehra acknowledged the strength of field, saying that there is a stronger field this time around.
While four players who have played in the LET (Ladies European Tour): Maria Pricscilla Iida (Brazil), Jenni Kuosa (Finland), Danielle Montomery (Britain) and Kiran Matharu (Britain) are participating, the event saw last-minute withdrawal of Celeste Troche (Argentina).
Irina Brar, who stood fourth at last year’s Indian Open and played the World Cup in South Africa last month, will try to make her presence felt this time.
Tanya Wadhwa of the US, another promising golfer, seemed confident too. On being asked the score she would like to card at the end of the tournament, she quickly replied, “May be six-under.” Last year’s winner carded one-under.
The youngest competitor in this event is 12-year-old Gurbani Singh. She will participate in the amateur category. Shalini Malik, who finished second to Smriti Mehra in the last three WGAI (Women Golf Association Of India) events, will also look to do well.