NOIDA: Action returns to the women’s professional golf circuit after a gap of almost nine months, as the seventh leg of the Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour gets underway on Wednesday at the Par-72 Noida Golf Course.
It is a major step in 2020 for the Women’s Golf Association of India, which has scheduled three events over the next three weeks. The last event on the Hero WPGT was the sixth leg in the first half of March 2020.
The field led by Hero Order of Merit leader Vani Kapoor includes established names like Diksha Dagar, Ridhima Dilawari, Neha Tripathi, Amandeep Drall, Gursimar Badwal and Saaniya Sharma, who feature in the field of 23 indicating keenness to get back to action. The field includes five amateurs and players from all over India.
Among the WGAI players who were playing on the Ladies European Tour, Tvesa Malik, Diksha Dagar and Astha Madan will all be seen in action in the eighth and ninth legs of the Tour. Of the three, only Diksha is playing at Noida.
Vani, who had to stay put in India due to the pandemic, said ”The resumption of the Tour is the best news in a long time, and I have been waiting for it. Hopefully it will put everyone in the right frame of mind.”
Ridhima, who had qualified for the China LPGA Tour but could not go, added “I have been practicing at every course and driving range around the NCR like DLF, Skyline, Harmoni and so on. But nothing beats a competitive pro event, so this is very welcome for all of us.”
The Hero WPG Tour had six events in the first two and a half months of 2020, before the pandemic brought it to a halt. The first six events produced different winners, including an amateur.
After Ridhima took the opening event, Pranavi Urs created history of sorts by winning the next two but with different status – she won the second leg as an amateur and then in her first start as a professional she won the third leg. Amandeep Drall, Vani Kapoor and Gursimar Badwal won the subsequent three events in that order.
The WGAI is following the COVID protocols and will be adhering to the regulations prescribed by the government and doctors. While all players will undergo temperature screening before being allowed to play, and caddies will strictly maintain Social Distancing, the caddies will also be wearing masks and will be provided with sanitizer and gloves.