Nov 5: Each of the four Indian women golfers playing at the OMEGA Dubai Moonlight Classic carded 3-over 75 and were Tied-29. It was a fairly eventful day for the Indians as three-time Ladies European Tour winner, Aditi Ashok, and Diksha Dagar, the only other Indian to have won on the LET, were getting to ready to tee, they were joined by Tvesa Malik and soon after by Astha Madan, as late entrants into the unique tournament that has only 56 players.
The world’s first day-night Tour event has an interesting format which sees the professionals pair up with a team of amateurs and play continues till late into the evening under the lights with the Dubai skyline in the background,
As players began on different tees at the same and in two waves – morning and evening, Aditi and Diksha were in the morning action. Aditi had two birdies early on and was even perched on top for a brief period. Later she fell and ended at 3-over 75, as did Diksha. In the evening wave, Tvesa and Astha also carded similar scores.
On the second day, Tvesa and Diksha will tee off in the “Daylight Wave” while Aditi and Astha will go out in the “Moonlight Wave”.
In other action, Sweden’s Caroline Hedwall, whose first LET win came in India at the Hero Women’s Indian Open, made headlines after a bogey-free round of 65 (-7), which included a hole-in-one. It gave her a two-shot first round lead from morning leader Laura Fuenfstueck (67) and fellow Solheim Cup player, Celine Boutier (67).
For Rolex Ranking No. 1 Lydia Ko shot 68 (-4) with an eagle, six birdies and four bogeys.
Defending champion Nuria Iturrioz continued her love-affair with Dubai, recording a solid first round of 69 (-3).
Speaking of her hole-in-one on the Par-3 17th with a 6-iron, Hedwall said, “I heard how it hit the pin and then I thought it came off because something white flew off the flag stick. I thought my ball was in the bunker. I walked up and saw a ball in the bunker and remarked there it is but my Pro-Am partner said that it was his ball. So I walked up to the hole to double check and it was there. I realised just after the hole in one that I’d won a watch, which is cool.”
The 31-year-old earned an OMEGA Speedmaster 38, Co-Axial Chronograph 30MM for her effort and she went on to take the lead.
Two shots behind Hedwall is Germany’s Laura Fuenfstueck, who led for most of the day as the ‘daylight’ leader, and France’s Celine Boutier, who compiled a clean bogey-free round of 67 (-5).
The event has a strong Indian connection with as many six players – Laura Davies, Caroline Hedwall, Emily Pedersen, Aditi Ashok, Becky Morgan and Christine Wolff having won the Hero Women’s Indian Open.
The LET earlier withdrew Annabel Dimmock, Catriona Matthew and Ursula Wikström after they tested positive for COVID-19. They were tested upon arrival into Dubai on Monday morning and will now remain in self-isolation for a minimum of fourteen days in accordance with the mandatory Health Authority and medical professional guidelines.