Three Indians at LPGA for first time; Aditi, Diksha and Tvesa at Ladies Scottish Open

From left: Diksha Dagar at the Renaissance Club and in a PPE suit on the flight; Aditi Ashok (centre) and Tvesa Malik

Aug 12: For the first time in Indian women’s golf history, three women will tee up at the same LPGA event, the Ladies Scottish Open, this week. The field will include India’s leading star, Aditi Ashok alongside rising stars, Diksha Dagar and Tvesa Malik.

The Ladies Scottish Open, a premier event on the Ladies European Tour, has been co-sanctioned with the LPGA since 2017 and this is the fourth time the two Tours are coming together. The Ladies Scottish Open, has however, been around since 1986.

Dagar plays with Stephanie Kyriacou and Yu Liu early in the morning at 7.15 am while Aditi plays with Scottish star Carly Booth and South African Lee-Ann Pace at 9.58 am local time. Tvesa has been drawn with Yealimi Noh and Emily Kristine Pedersen, who won the Hero Women’s Indian Open years back and they tee off at 12.22 pm.

Diksha and Tvesa arrived in the UK on Friday and then travelled to Edinburgh on Monday.

Aditi Ashok and her mother, who will be on the bag, arrived on Monday. They had also reached the venue and Aditi had a look at the course.

Col Naren Dagar, father and caddie of Diksha, said, “We were tested at the airport and then again in Scotland by the Tour.”

Dagar said, “It was a different kind of a trip. We were helped in India by many people as we got all papers and permissions to travel. Honestly, there was some tension because this is not a normal situation, but the officials back home and the LET here were most helpful.”

Diksha herself said, “I have been waiting for this for long. Back home I practiced for a long time and maintained all safety measures on account of the Covid outbreak. We wore PPE suits and took all measures on travel and have been wearing masks, maintaining distance and staying away from crowded areas.”

“Last year was my first time at the Renaissance Golf Club and it was raining last year. As of now it has been good weather and it felt great to get set for an actual tournament,” added Diksha, who won the Women’s South African Open last year, which was also her Rookie year.

While the Ladies European Tour makes a return to golf with the Scottish Open, the LPGA has played two events in the United States.

The LPGA Tour events arrived in Europe after two events, the LPGA Drive On Championship and the Marathon LPGA Classic. Those two tournaments in Toledo provided back-to-back wins Danielle Kang as the LPGA returned after the COVID-19 interruption. The two wins gave Kang three wins in the last 10 months.

The field this week also includes Minjee Lee, who comes off two top-four finishes.

In 2019, Mi Jung Hur came out on top with six birdies in her final nine holes to earn her first victory since 2014 and set the 72-hole tournament record at –20 in her four-stroke win. But Hur will not defend her title this week at The Renaissance Club, opting to remain home in Korea due to travel concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, past champions Moriya Jutanugarn (2018) and Mi Hyang Lee (2017) have made the trip to The Renaissance Club, as have 2019 major champions Hannah Green (KPMG Women’s PGA Championship) and Hinako Shibuno (AIG Women’s Open). The 144-player field also includes 15 of the top 20 in the LET’s Race to Costa del Sol competing for the $1.5 million purse, as well as Rose Ladies Series Order of Merit winner Charley Hull.

The Scottish Open is the first of two consecutive events in Scotland, ahead of next week’s AIG Women’s Open at Royal Troon, and the event is also the final opportunity to qualify for the AIG Women’s Open.

As the LPGA and LET touch down in Scotland this week, players, caddies   and staff at the Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open are determined to make the tournament which has gone all out to make it a success is adhering to extensive health measures with face masks and sanitizers all around the course and social distancing norms will be in practice.

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