Former teenage prodigy Kiran Matharu from England returned to the Ladies European Tour’s leader boards during the Hero Women’s Indian Open after opening with rounds of 71 and 73 on the Gary Player Course at DLF Golf and Country Club to lie three shots behind the leader Aditi Ashok heading into the last round.
Finally injury-free after nine years with a blocked hip, which was only diagnosed during last year’s ISPS HANDA Ladies European Masters at the Buckinghamshire after a chance meeting with Northampton cricket club’s physiotherapist, Matharu ironically started the second round with a minor injury: a dislocated little toe!
Speaking after her second round, the 27-year-old from Leeds explained: “Level par for two rounds is good, considering I dislocated my toe last night. I finished my round, was going to dinner at the hotel and opened the door right onto my foot and my little toe was pointing sideways. My dad put it back in, but it was agony. I saw the first aid and they strapped me up. I didn’t know if I’d be able to play but it’s okay. It hurts, but I’m happy with how I’m playing.”
Kiran turned professional as a 17-year-old in 2006 and finished second at the 2007 Nykredit Masters in Denmark, as well as at the 2011 Lalla Meryem Cup, however she has struggled through injury in recent years.
In 2016 so far, she has played in eight events on the LET Access Series and the Hero Women’s Indian Open is her third start on the LET following the Tipsport Golf Masters and ISPS HANDA Ladies European Masters, as she is playing on an invitation. She took five weeks off from golf in the middle of the season and when she returned she recorded three top 10 finishes from four events, including a second, third and seventh place.
She continued: “I didn’t hit balls for five weeks, I just worked in the gym, because I’ve had problems with my hips, but I had a few lessons with my coach, Mark Pinkett.”
Matharu, who has Indian heritage, will play in the penultimate group on Sunday and she added: “I’ve been playing well for the last couple of weeks. If I wanted to win any tournament on the LET apart from a Major, this would be the one.”