The Hero Women’s Indian Open got its first taste of competition albeit in the Skills Challenge on Wednesday, setting the mood for the rest of the week. Both teams won two skills each to finish the tie level at 2-2.
With Rs. 60,000 on offer for each Skill, the teams earned Rs. 1,20,000 each and that was shared among the four players in both teams.
Four players each from Asia and the Rest of the world contested in the Hero Skills Challenge that required two chosen players from either team to display the skills. Team Asia comprised Sharmila Nicollet, amateur Gaurika Bishnoi, Thais Thidapa Suwannapura and Supamas Sangchan, while the Rest of the World team was made up of Beth Allen, Carlota Ciganda, Belen Mozo and Ann Van Dam.
Playing on the 18th green, the teams were first required to pitch from 100 yards and then try and hit the Hero Scooter, which was strategically placed right in the centre of the lake next to the 18th. Then they were required to come out of the bunker before finally they competed in the long putt.
Sharmila, coming off a three-month training stint in Florida, where she trained with Gary Gilchrist, pitched from 100 yards to within three feet and nine inches to grab the top spot.
In the second skill, last year’s LET Order of Merit winner, Beth Allen found her target, the Hero Scooter, whilst others missed out.
The 2013 Hero Women’s Indian Open champion, Thidapa Suwannapura came out of the bunker to within a foot and 10 inches, while Carlota Ciganda, the highest ranked player in the field, got the ball to stop a foot and eight inches from the pin in the Long putt.
100-yard shot: Team Asia (Sharmila Nicollet – 3 feet 9 inches)
Precision (hitting the target Hero Scooter): Team Rest of the World (Beth Allen)
Long Bunker Shot: Team Asia – (Thidapa Suwannapura- 1 foot 10 inches)
Long Putt: Team Rest of the World (Carlota Ciganda – 1 foot 8 inches)