Starting today, the Ladies European Tour returns to India for the Hero Women’s Indian Open - and you can expect it to be bigger and better than ever.
From 18-21 October, a field of 120 players will tee it up at DLF Golf and Country Club in Gurugram, India for an increased purse of US$500,000. As normal, the tournament will be played over 72 holes, but there'll be live television coverage over all four days of the event for the first ever time. There will be a cut to the leading 60 professionals and ties after day two.
Now in its ninth year on the LET schedule, this is the 12th staging of the tournament and the fourth consecutive year at DLF Golf and Country Club.
Over the past three years of the tournament, rookie professionals have taken the crown at the Hero Women’s Indian Open; Emily Kristine Pedersen (Denmark), Aditi Ashok (India) and Camille Chevalier (France). This year, England’s Sophie Lamb hopes to do the same as she is set to turn professional at the tournament this week.
The 21-year-old from Lancashire has enjoyed a successful amateur career, most recently representing England at the World Amateur Golf Championships and Great Britain & Ireland at the 2018 Curtis Cup. She's also won the 2016 British Ladies Strokeplay and was a member of the 2017 winning England team at the European Ladies Championships.
Sophie had a taste of women’s professional golf when she played in the 2017 Ricoh Women’s British Open at Kingsbarns, where she won the Smyth Salver as the leading amateur in a tie for 30th position, before receiving an invitation to the Ladies European Tour Omega Dubai Ladies Classic.
"It will be good to go to India, to play against the Ladies European Tour players," commented Lamb.
"It is what I want to be doing next year on a regular basis, so it’s good for me to keep gaining experience in the lead up to Q School."
"I am very thankful for the invite from Hero."
The 2011 Hero Women’s Indian Open champion, Caroline Hedwall, has a familiar face at her side this week. Her non-identical twin sister, Jacqueline, who is training to become a police officer, will be caddying for the first time in three years.
Hedwall’s mother, Yvonne, caddied for her when she won the Hero Women’s Indian Open on the Arnold Palmer Course at DLF Golf and Country Club seven years ago, in her rookie season, although Jacqueline was Hedwall’s regular caddie back then.
"She hasn’t caddied for three years, so I’ll do the yardages," said Hedwall, who will make her second appearance on the Gary Player Course at DLF G&CC this week.
"I was here two years ago, but walking around today, I was really amazed by what has been done to the place".
"It’s looking incredible, the changes. It’s a really good looking course and a great layout and challenge, so I’m really excited to play".