Aditi Ashok looks to retain her crown at Hero Women’s Indian Open
Gurgaon, November 7, 2017: Aditi Ashok, who earned her third Ladies European Tour title at the Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open in Abu Dhabi last week, will be firm favourite to defend her crown at the Hero Women’s Indian Open which tees off at the picturesque DLF Golf and Country Club, Gurgaon, from November 9 – 12, 2017.
The US $400,000 event, now in its 11th year, will field previous champions and Order of Merit winners, who will battle for top honors. Headlining the filed will be the likes of India’s Aditi Ashok (Defending Champion + LET Rookie of the year 2016 and winner of Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open), Emily Kristine Pedersen (Winner – Hero Women’s Indian Open 2015 + LET Rookie of the year 2015), Beth Allen (Winner – LET Order of Merit 2016) and Belen Mozo (Runner-up Hero Women’s Indian Open 2016).
The flagship event, co-sanctioned by the Ladies European Tour (LET) and the Women’s Golf Association of India (WGAI) will also feature World No. 21, Carlota Ciganda from Spain, who will be the top-ranked player in the field.
Commenting on Hero’s long-standing association with the Hero Women’s Indian Open for the eighth consecutive year, Mr. Pawan Munjal, Chairman, MD & CEO, Hero MotoCorp, said “Hero MotoCorp has remained committed to the development of Women’s golf in India and it gives us great pleasure to see our young golfers perform on the world stage. The Hero Women’s Indian Open has established itself as an important stop in the Ladies European Tour and over the years we have seen some of the top professionals from different parts of the world competing in the tournament. We look forward to another spectacular edition of the Hero Women’s Indian Open this year.”
Also on the field will be Emily Pedersen, currently ranked 28 on the LET OOM with total career earnings of € 3,41,848.39 in seven appearances. The winner of the Hero Women’s Indian Open 2015, Emily has competed in 16 LET tournaments and secured 6 top-15 finishes on the way to finishing the season in the seventh position on the LET order of merit in 2016. She will be keen to move up the ladder with a strong performance in India this year.
Defending Champion Aditi Ashok will start as a firm favorite this year. After winning the Hero Women’s Indian Open, she went on to claim the Qatar Ladies Open 2016 and last week’s victory at Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open in Abu Dhabi propelled her to 13th on the Ladies European Tour rankings. The 19-year-old from Bangalore began the final day at Saadiyat Beach Golf Club with a two-stroke lead and seemed to be in cruise control for most of the round. She made a nervy start with a bogey on the fifth hole, but bounced back with six birdies in her next 11 holes to open a four-stroke advantage with three holes to play. With rounds of 67, 66, 68 and 69, and a winning score of 18-under-par, Aditi finished a stroke ahead of Georgia Hall and took home a first prize cheque for €70,788.
LET Chairman Mark Lichtenhein said: “Following the tremendous success of this event in 2016 and Aditi Ashok’s historic victory, the Ladies European Tour is delighted to return to DLF Golf and Country Club to contest the Hero Women’s Indian Open for the eighth time. Our players always enjoy coming to India and the tournament has become a staple on their calendars. We look forward to further strengthening our partnership with the Women’s Golf Association of India and Hero MotoCorp to bring our leading professional women golfers to Indian fans and spectators.”
Mrs. Kavita Singh, President of the WGAI, said, “The Women’s Golf Association of India, with the support of our title sponsor, Hero MotoCorp Ltd, is on the verge of hosting the 11th edition of the Hero Women’s Indian Open with a prize purse of US $ 400,000. Last year saw Aditi Ashok become the first Indian to win the Hero Women’s Indian Open and the first Indian to win on the Ladies European Tour. Last year also saw her qualify for the LPGA, and another five Indian players qualify for the LET. It is with the help of our sponsors and well-wishers that the WGAI has come a long way in a short span of time. On behalf of WGAI, I would like to express my sincere thanks to Hero MotoCorp and the Ladies European Tour for their continuous support.”
Another player who will be keen to make a mark will be Vani Kapoor. She finished tied 36 at the Lalla Meryem Cup and is currently placed seventh in the Hero Order of Merit (WGAI) with total earnings of INR 5,21,000 and three victories in five appearances. She will be playing on her home turf at the DLF Golf and Country Club alongside a strong Indian contingent, which includes Gaurika Bishnoi, Amandeep Drall, and Neha Tripathi.
The coveted tournament will be played on India’s only Gary Player course situated in Gurgaon. The challenging signature ‘Black Knight’ course tested the mantle of the women professionals last year with its dramatic landforms, rock quarries, large lakes and extensive landscaping. It is now all set to play host to another memorable Hero Women’s Indian Open.