Caroline Hedwall at DLF Golf and Country Club last year

Caroline Hedwall, one of the leaders of a new generation of European golfing talent and last year’s Ladies European Tour Player of the Year, is hoping to make a big impression as she returns to defend at the Hero Women’s Indian Open this week at DLF Golf and Country Club in Gurgaon, near New Delhi.

The tournament is taking place from Friday November 30 to Sunday December 2 on the course where Hedwall triumphed 12 months ago as a rookie.

Reflecting on her win, the Solheim Cup player recalled:  “Actually it was a very unexpected win, as I got ill in the beginning of the week last year. I felt alright when the tournament started but was pretty low on energy and I guess that helped me as I didn’t have any expectations on myself. I just went out there to have some fun and got off to a good start and also had a good week with my putter!”

Last year, Hedwall survived on toast and rice after falling ill and is not a fan of spicy food, however she is hoping she can earn her second win from five starts on the LET this season after she collected the UNIQA Ladies Golf Open in Austria in September on her return to competition after eight weeks out with a hip injury.

“It’ll be fun. I have some great memories from there and I will definitely do my best to defend my title,” she said, after a meteoric rise in 2011, in which she won four tournaments and was also the Rookie of the Year.

The World No.41 from Sweden feels that she has the game to claim her seventh title in two years as a professional. “I feel like I’ve been playing better than I’ve scored my last couple of tournaments, but that’s golf and hopefully I can shot some good scores in India.  I’ll bring my caddy from last year: my mom!” she said.  

She feels that the course set-up suits her game. “I remember hitting a lot of wedges and short irons into the greens, and that’s one of the stronger parts of my game, so I gave myself a lot of birdie opportunities and managed to make a lot of them too,” she recalled.

This year, Hedwall will face an even stronger field of competitors with the likes of 2010 champion Laura Davies, Karen Lunn and Stacey Keating in the field as well as the current LET ISPS Handa Order of Merit leader Carlota Ciganda from Spain, who is also leading the race for the Rolex Rookie of the Year.