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Tanya set for greener pastures

Fifteen-year-old golfer Tanya Wadhwa, a U.S. citizen of Indian origin, believes there is no shortcut to success, reports Anupma Tripathi.

other Updated: Mar 25, 2008 22:22 IST
Anupma Tripathi

MIX HARD work with endurance and passion, add a pinch of optimism, and you get the perfect recipe for success. Fifteen-year-old golfer Tanya Wadhwa, a U.S. citizen of Indian origin, believes there is no shortcut to success.

She moves around with confidence and has just the right kind of attitude needed to excel. Tanya spent the first nine years of her life in India before moving to the U.S. to pursue her first love — golf.

Her father used to play golf and her brother is trying to make it big on the greens. This is also probably the reason she took a liking for the sport. "My father had a business… but after seeing my interest in the sport, and also because of some unavoidable circumstances, we moved to Florida and then to Texas. I feel it was my love for golf that made my parents shift base.

"Hadn't it been for my father, who always thought I should get proper exposure and training, it wouldn't have been possible for me to come this far."

Currently in India for the Women's Indian Open, she is accompanied by her brother. "I feel very confident in his presence. He knows my game inside out and is at hand to give me tips. It's good that he accompanied me here."

Tanya has taken a two-week sabbatical from school to take part in this event. "Yes, but I will be able to manage my academics," she says confidently. An admirer of Jeev Milkha Singh, she believes in making it big at some stage in her life. I seriously believe I can make it. My parents have supported me throughout, I owe it to them."

Tanya doesn't seem to have very fond memories of the Delhi Golf Club, though. "They did not like juniors to play there so I used to go and practice at the DLF country club."

On what she feels is the difference in training in India and abroad, the 15-year-old says: "I think the coaching there is rigorous. I have improved a lot in terms of technique and am trying hard to get into the pro category.

Tanya agrees that the stature of the women's Indian Open has grown over the years. "I think it's growing really fast… I see so many kids taking to golf at a very early age." Tanya, who was the adjudged the best amateur Indian in the ladies Indian Masters at Bangalore — a European Tour event — last year said that Simi Mehra would be a force to reckon with at the Indian Open.

"I think Simi would be tough to beat. Apart from her, I do not recognise anyone," she says smiling.

On her future plans, is pretty nonchalant. "Let's take it as it comes. I am a pragmatist."

Rescheduling costs event dear

Gurgaon: THE WOMEN’S Indian Open golf tournament is lucky to see the light of the day. The event got postponed due to the Johnnie Walker Classic held at the DLF Country club, which concluded on March 2. Now, the event dates are clashing with some major tournaments worldwide because of which quite a few pros from South Korea, Japan and Australia have failed to make it. In fact, the field was supposed to grow from last year's 60 to around 90, but it has come down to 53.

Champika Sayal, secretary-general of the Women Golf Association Of India said that because of the Johnnie Walker Classic the event had to be postponed from its scheduled dates, and the current dates were clashing with other events. "There were other problems as well…players faced last-minute booking problems because of which many could not arrive."

When asked why the tournament was not held on the scheduled dates at some other venue, Sayal said since DLF were the main sponsors, the event could not be held at any other course.

She said that, "Since the course takes a couple of weeks to 'recover', we could not hold it immediately after the Johnnie Walker Classic, which is why we had to postpone it by almost four weeks.

Sayal, however, said the depleted field, wouldn't affect the quality of the tournament. "Four golfers who competed in the World Cup at South Africa are here, so you can see that some quality players are participating."

Favourite Smriti Mehra felt that the postponement had brought down the number of players. "We have missed out on at least 20 players from South Korea and another 15 from Japan." Event director, Rishi Narain said that rescheduling doesn't have to do anything with the quality of the players. "Though the numbers have come down, the quality still remains the same."