Pune, Jan 22 (IANS) Golfer Neha Tripathi will come back and add to her comprehensive win in the season-opener of the Hero Womens Pro Golf Tour 2019, when she tees off in the second leg at the Oxford Golf Resort here from Wednesday.
The Tour stays in the lovely western city for the second successive week. The event this week again carries a purse of Rs eight lakh.
The second leg will see Tvesa Malik, 2018 Order of Merit winner, and Gaurika Bishnoi, 2017 Order of Merit winner, make their first appearance of the year.
Tvesa had skipped the first leg and so had Gaurika, who has been trying to balance golf with academics and has said she will focus fully on golf after college.
While Tvesa and Gaurika’s appearance will make the contest very keen, amateur Pranavi Urs, who finished second and Diksha Dagar, who was third last week, will be missing.
Pranavi is back to preparing for her amateur circuit and Diksha is preparing to play the Australian LPGA Qualifying.
Also entering the event are four other Indians — Vani Kapoor, Ridhima Dilawari, Diksha Dagar and Astha Madan. The LPGA qualifiers are scheduled from January 28-30 at the Ballarat Golf Club.
The highlight of Neha’s win last week was a stunning five-under 66 on the second day, after which she held her game together on the final day to romp home a winner by five shots.
The first leg saw a healthy run of par and under par scores and the stronger field this week should see a few more.
The first threesome on Wednesday will see Amandeep Drall, Gursimar Badwal and Tvesa Malik, and it will be one of the marquee groups of the day.
Sifat Alag, who made her pro debut last week, will be looking at improving her showing when she tees up with Sonam Chugh and Siddhi Kapoor in the second group.
Millie Saroha, who faded away after a great start in the first leg, will be in the third group with Ishvari Prasanna, who is making her pro debut, and the highly experienced Smriti Mehra.
Jyotsana Singh, Neha and Khushi Khanijau are in the fourth group, while Gaurika, Suchitra Ramesh and Komal Chaudhary are in the fifth. Hita Prakash, Mehar Atwal and Afshan Fatima are in the penultimate grouping while Dolma Rawat, Ananya Datar and Ayesha Kapur are in the final group.