There’s nothing quite like playing a Ladies European Tour event in your home country, and Tvesa Malik can’t wait to put on a show for the local crowd at the Hero Women’s Indian Open this week.
The New Delhi native made her first start on the LET in this event back in 2011 as a 15-year-old amateur, and has played in five editions of the tournament so far in her career.
The past two events at DLF Golf and Country Club have seen her competing at the top of the leaderboard, with a T13 finish in 2018, before ending up in T6 the last time we were in the country in 2019.
And with local knowledge of the course and being within familiar surroundings, the Indian star is hoping for another strong performance in front of her home crowd this week.
“It’s super exciting to be back here and to be back playing at home after so long,” Malik said.
“I think it’s something we’ve really been waiting for and looking forward to over the last few years so I’m really thrilled to be back now.
“I’ve managed to get home a few times this year so I’ve seen how well the course has been playing, and I know how excited everyone is to have us come here.
“It’s been a bit of a tough year for me but I feel good and I’m excited to be back home and get to play a week here. It’s a course that I’m comfortable with and my game feels like it’s getting better so I hope that shows this week.”
Alongside Aditi Ashok, Malik has been the spearhead of women’s golf in India since joining the LET in 2019, in a time that has seen the sport grow exponentially in the country.
Looking back at the first time the Tour hosted an event in India back in 2010, there were 18 local players competing in the event – which was eventually won by Dame Laura Davies – and fast forward onto this week, and 30 Indian stars will be teeing it up in Gurugram.
The rise of women’s golf in India has seen more and more stars cutting their teeth on the LET in recent years, with Vani Kapoor, Amandeep Drall, Neha Tripathi and Gaurika Bishnoi just a few examples of the talent that the country is producing.
And with the LET hosting a Pre Qualifier Event at Classic Golf and Country Club last week, it gave a number of Indian players the chance to earn their place at the Final Qualifier at La Manga Club in December for the chance to earn their playing rights for the 2023 season.
18-year-old Sneha Singh emerged victorious last week in a tightly fought battle, with the young star one step closer to joining her compatriots on tour, and Malik believes there is even more talent in the country that will emerge as the game continues to grow in popularity.
“It’s great to be able to be talking about things like that, because I remember hearing the stories of how professional women’s golf started in India, and it’s come on leaps and bounds from where it was then to where it is now,” she continued.
“Going forward I think the LET and LPGA will have to watch out because there are going to be a lot of Indian girls coming through, and it’s exciting to be a part of that.”
For Malik herself, the 2022 season hasn’t been as prolific as that of last year as she languishes in 114th spot in the Race to Costa Del Sol rankings, but she is well aware that a strong performance at home will earn her valuable points to help her rise the rankings.
“The new design of the course has been challenging for everyone, the conditions are absolutely pure but it’s a daunting golf course to look at, so it’s important to know where you can miss and where you should be.”
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