In a first for Indian women’s golf, three leading players of the country — Aditi Ashok, Diksha Dagar and Tvesa Malik — will tee up at an LPGA event together, the Ladies Scottish Open, starting Thursday.
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.
Diksha 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 and her mother arrived on Monday. They had also reached the venue and Aditi had a good 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 helpful.”
Diksha added: “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.”
Diksha won the Women’s South African Open last year, which was also her rookie season.
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 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 for 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 on the back of 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. But she 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, who are competing for the USD 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.
The Scottish Open will be followed by 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.