Enhanced prize purse of US $ 4,00,000 for Hero Women’s Indian Open ‘15

Amandeep Drall Vani Kapoor Sharmila Nicollet Neha Tripathi L RNew Delhi: The Hero Women’s Indian Open 2015, to be played from 23rd to 25th of October at the DLF Golf and Country Club, Gurgaon, will have a never-before enhancement in the prize purse from US $ 3,00,000 to US $4,00,000 making the event one of the biggest attractions for womens’ golf in Asia.

The tournament will see the likes of Gwladys Nocera (defending champion, 2008 OOM Winner + 14 career LET victories), Melissa Reid (Winner – Turkish Airlines Ladies Open + 5 LET victories), Becky Brewerton(2 career LET victories) and Thidapa Suwannapura (Winner- 2013 + 2 career LET Victories)fighting it out for the top honors.

Another exciting announcement was made at the press conference on Thursday, Cheyenne Nicole Woods, LPGA star and the niece of 14 time major winner Tiger Woods confirmed her participation. This will be Cheyenne’s maiden visit to India and the professional from the United States of America will seek to make it a memorable one.

The flagship event, tri-sanctioned by the Ladies European Tour (LET), the Ladies Asian Golf Tour(LAGT) and Women’s Golf Association of India(WGAI) will see Indian stars like Vani Kapoor, Sharmila Nicollet and Vaishavi Sinha competing for supremacy against a star studded field.

Commenting on Hero’s association with the Hero Women’s Indian Open for the sixthconsecutive year, Mr. Pawan Munjal, Chairman, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, Hero MotoCorp Ltd, said “At Hero MotoCorp, we are committed to promote and nurture women’s golf in the country and an increased prized purse is a step in the same direction. The tournament offers an opportunity to talented young Indian golfers to test their skills against the best in the world.

These are exciting times for women’s golf in the country and the Hero Women’s Indian Open has played a vital role in promoting the sport. The Tournament has established itself as an important stop in the Ladies European Tour and the Ladies Asian Golf Tour and it speaks volumesabout the importance of thetournament. We look forward to another spectacular edition of the Hero Women’s Indian Open.”

Defending Champion Gwladys Nocera is in good form and has already won a title at theLallaMeryem Cup in Morocco. The professional from France is currently placed 5thin the ISPS Handa Order of Merit with total earnings of € 181,635.04in 12 appearances this season. Other attractions at this year’s Hero Women’s Indian Open will be the presence of Thidapa Suwannapura and Melissa Reid. Thidapa claimed her first title at the Hero Women’s Indian Open in 2013 and will be a force to reckon with this time around as well. Melissa is currently placed 4th in the ISPS Handa Order of Merit with total earnings of € 216,008.46 in 12 appearances and will be eager to claim her first title in India.

Vani Kapoor will be the cynosure of all Indian hopes. She currently leads the Hero Order of Merit with total earnings of INR 15,56,400 in 16 appearances. She will be playing on her home turf at the DLF Golf and Country Club and will lead the charge of a strong Indian contingent along with Hero MotoCorp sponsored Sharmila Nicollet and Vaishavi Sinha.

Mrs. Kavita Singh, President of the WGAI, said “The Women’s Golf Association of India, with the support of our title sponsor, Hero MotoCorp Ltd, is on the verge of hosting the Hero Women’s Indian Open 2015 with a prize purse of US $ 400,000. The tournament has gone from strength to strength in the past years and the presence of some of the top players from the LET and LAGT is a testimony to the growing stature of the tournament. Indian players have done well in the past and have grown in confidence from competing against the best in the business and we expect some top performances from them in this tournament as well. On behalf of WGAI, I would like to express my sincere thanks to Hero MotoCorp, the Ladies European Tour and the Ladies Asian Golf Tour for their continuous support.”

The coveted tournament is making a return the DLF Golf and Country Club, and will be played on India’s only Gary Player course, after two very successful years at the historic Delhi Golf Club. The Tournament will also be the first international event at the signature ‘Black Knight’ course, ensuring a level playing field to both the local as well as the international players. The state-of-the-art course with its dramatic land forms, rock quarries, large lakes and extensive landscaping is all set to host a memorable tournament.

Ivan Khodabaksh, CEO of the Ladies European Tour, said “The Ladies European Tour members cannot wait to return to DLF Golf and Country Club for the 2015 Hero Women’s Indian Open. A world class field of competitors, an internationally renowned golf course and significantly increased prize money will combine for a spectacular tournament, showcasing the talents of the best international players. I would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to Hero MotoCorp Ltd for their valuable support to the tournament and contribution to the development of women’s golf. I would also like to thank Mrs.Kavita Singh, President of the Women’s Golf Association of India (WGAI) and the Ladies Asian Golf Tour (LAGT) for their continued close collaboration.”

Sharing best wishes for the Hero Women’s Indian Open 2015, the LAGT President, Mr. Koichi Kato said, “We would like to thank Hero Motocorp for their enthusiastic contribution towards women’s golf not only in India but around the globe. LAGT was first invited to India in 2007, and ever since then, several new Asian stars have been born in the world of golf after their victories in India – Taiwan’s Tseng Ya Ni in 2007, Thai’s PornanongPhatlum in 2008, 2009, 2012 and Thai’s ThidapaSuwannapurain 2013. LAGT hopes that another new Asian heroine may come out this year again.”

Rana Kapoor, Managing Director & CEO, YES BANK said: “YES BANK is proud to support the Women's Indian Open for the second year. Golf in India today is largely a youth driven sport, however, women's golf still finds itself in a nascent stage in India, compared to neighboring Asian countries like Thailand and Malaysia. The last few years have seen a surge in development of golf infrastructure, trained caddies and support staff, professional coaches and facilities in India. Although there has been substantial corporate sponsorship and media build up in recent years, golf in India still offers extensive untapped opportunities”.