Women’s Indian Open to offer $3 lakh

NEW DELHI: The fourth edition of the Women’s Indian Open will offer a huge prize purse of $300,000, more than double the amount offered in the last edition.

Last year, the money on offer was $1,20,00 (Rs 56 lakh approx) and it was $1,00,000 in its inagural edition in 2007. Interestingly, the men’s Indian Open could offer such a big money only after 35 years of coming into existence.

“Women have completed it in just three years that took men’s golf 40 years,” Champika Sayal, Secretary-General of the Women’s Golf Association of India (WGAI) said.

“Hero Honda, the organisers, plan to increase the prize purse by 10 per cent every year,” Sayal added.

Top European and Asian players will compete in the event to be held at the DLF Golf and Country Club in Gurgaon from November 11-13.

The tournament has also got a boost with the sanction of Ladies European Tour (LET) and the Ladies Asian Golf Tour (LAGT). It means that the Indian players would get an opportunity to play against some of the the very best in the business including two-time Thai defending champion Phatlum Pornanong and South-African star Lee-Ann Pearce.

“Players have to play in big international arena to improve their mental ability,” Kavita Singh, President of the WGAI said.

The winner will also get a chance to play on the European tour for the next three years.

The tournament that would be the fifth leg of the LAGT has top ten Indian golfers in the main event. About 12 Indian Pros would fight it out with nearly 100 other top women golfers in the tournament that would be played over a course of 54-holes.

International Golfers of Indian origin like Kiran Matharan, Sara Hasan, currently on other European and American circuits, have been specially invited for the tournament. Young crop of Indian golfers including teen sensation Sharmila Nicolette, who has won two successive Women’s Professional Golf Tour titles, are also in the fray.

The event has already signed auto giant Hero Honda as the title sponsors for the next three years. – Timesofindia