BANGKOK, May 11: Tvesa Malik will be shouldering the responsibility of being the captain as she hopes for a big finish in the $1 million Aramco Team Series – Bangkok, which will be played over the next three days at the historic Thai Country Club.
The 27-year-old is yet to catch the kind of form that saw her finish 19th in the Ladies European Tour (LET) Order of Merit last year, but she feels a good finish is within her reach. She made a few swing changes at the start of the year and those are slowly getting in the groove.
The Aramco Team Series is like two competitions rolled into one – a $500,000 team competition, where an amateur joins the team of three professionals, and a 54-hole individual competition.
In the team draft on Tuesday evening, Malik opted for the Switzerland’s Nobuhle Dlamini, ranked 429th in the world, and Anais Maggetti completed her team through random draw. Both players are from Switzerland.
“I really like the concept of the Aramco Team Series. It’s so much more fun because of the team element. I hope to have fun with my teammates and that should also help me play well in the individual part of the event,” said Malik, ranked 334th in the world.
“I had shortlisted three people that I liked and all three were available when my turn came to pick. Nobuhle was one of them. I played with her recently and she is a very good ball-striker. She hits it pretty far and makes a lot of birdies. A lot of it is also about who you get along with, because all of them are great players. I just wanted to have the right kind of energy for myself and for the team.
“I’ve met Anais before and seen her play. She is a good player too and good friends with Vani (Kapoor) and Amandeep (Drall). Also, she has one of the Malaysian players on her bag. I’m excited to have her and it is going to be fun.”
Malik has played six tournament this year, and made cut in three. Her best finish was a tied 25th place at the Asian Mixed Cup.
“Last year was a long year and I did not get much time to work on my game. So, towards the end of the year and until February, I was working on a few things with my coach (Jesse Grewal) in Chandigarh. I think it’s a matter of time. I can see the results, slowly but surely,” said Malik.
The tournament has a strong local contingent, led by former world No1 Ariya Jutanugarn and her equally accomplished sister Moriya. The highest ranked player in the field is world No13 Patty Tavatanakit, winner of ANA Inspiration in 2021, the first major championship of the women’s season.