Strong field at Indian Open

Multiple European Tour winners and three past titlists will tee off in $300,000 tournament.

With a field featuring multiple tournament winners on the Ladies European Tour as well as three past winners of the tournament itself, the USD 300,000 Women's Indian Open which begins on Friday, is literally open for all. The spectators at the DLF Golf and Country Club in Gurgaon will have high expectations from Caroline Hedwall, the Swiss youngster who plays regularly on the prestigious American tour, the Ladies Professional Golf Association and made a big impression in her rookie year last season with as many as four titles.

The 23-year-old had won the Indian Open trophy last year but has faced injury concerns this season which forced her out of competition for more than two months in the summer. However, the talented pro has since bounced back and won the Uniqa Ladies Golf Open Raiffeisen, one of only four European Tour (LET) events she played this year.

While Hedwall is being touted as the favourite as she is looking to boost her winning confidence post her injury on a terrain familiar to her, she faces a big hurdle from someone who has come up in a way similar to her. Another rookie rising her head on the LET is Spaniard Carlota Ciganda. She too has picked up multiple titles on her debut season and has in fact gone a step ahead in making the top position on the order of merit her own. It will be interesting to follow which of the newbies are able to hold their nerves and adapt to the different conditions here.

Adding intrigue to this duel is Solheim Cup regular Laura Davies, who at 49, has won ten times the number of professional titles than both Hedwall and Ciganda combined. Davies had in fact won the 2010 edition of the Indian Open amidst great drama. She arrived in India with her golf bag lost in transit, played the first round without any sleep and eventually birdied her last hole to enter a four-way playoff which she won. Though Davies has been winless since then, she is one of those old tigers who can roar back into contention at any time and spoil the youngsters' party.

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