Tvesa’s journey from a volunteer to contender

Updated on Oct 03, 2019 10:13 AM IST

Malik, who finished Tied-13th in the last edition, will regard herself as a prime contender at the tournament which begins at the DLF course this Thursday

Tvesa Malik is hoping to better last year’s T-13th finish when the Women’s Indian Open starts on Thursday(ladies european tour)
Tvesa Malik is hoping to better last year’s T-13th finish when the Women’s Indian Open starts on Thursday(ladies european tour)
Gurugram | By

One of the memories Tvesa Malik has of her first brush with the Women’s Indian Open is the collection of golf balls she managed as a volunteer from the 2007 edition. Barely 11 and yet to get serious about golf—even though she was quite regular with practice at Bengaluru’s Karnataka Golf Association (KGA)—Malik cherishes the assortment of 10 balls she collected from the pros while waiting by the 18th green of the DLF Golf and Country Club.All the balls were marked, as is the case with pros, but the one “with the cool marking” is a favourite and travels with her now that she plays on the Ladies European Tour.

Malik, who finished Tied-13th in the last edition, will regard herself as a prime contender at the tournament which begins at the DLF course this Thursday. Twenty two Indians, including Diksha Dagar, who won the South African Women’s Open in March, and Gaurika Bishnoi, who leads India’s Order of Merit this year, will pose the local challenge at the country’s only Ladies European Tour (LET) event.

It was a chance meeting with Shalini Malik, a referee, at KGA that got Malik and elder sister, Kasvi, on a flight to Delhi in 2007.

“Shalini said if you want to play pro golf, this is a good event to go to,” said Malik. In the midst of writing scores and collecting free balls was born the desire to “be on the other side”.

Now, facing stiff competition from a bevy of heavyweights from Europe led by Becky Morgan, the defending champion from Wales, Malik says her journey in golf has been “surreal”.

The national Open has played a part in Malik’s recent success in the game. That Tied-13th (with Gaurika Bishnoi) made her the top Indian finisher at the $500,000 event last year, and soon after, she secured her maiden card on the LET through qualifying school. In nine starts this year, Malik’s best finish has been 35th in Sitges, Spain, last week.

“The learning curve has been huge,” she said.

Used to kinder schedules on the Women’s Golf Association of India, where she has won three events in five starts this season, playing two practice rounds and four days of competition while criss-crossing continents is taxing. Couple it with making the cut-line in a field that boasts of the world’s best after two days, and Malik is still finding her way on the bigger tour.

“I can’t complain as this is where I wanted to be,” she said. “I am more aware of my game.” Malik is hoping a strong finish on Sunday will secure her card for 2020 and facilitate travel across Europe, especially to Sitges, where her warm hosts had her feast on paella, tapas and jamon.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Robin Bose has more than two decades of experience as a sports reporter. He specialises in writing on golf.

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