Vani faces challenge from Gurbani and Aditi in Ladies Amateur

Chandigarh: Vani Kapoor, the current leader on the Indian Golf Union`s Ladies Order of Merit, is looking forward to rounding off the year with a win at the Usha All India Ladies Amateur.

Vani will face stiff competition from Gurbani Singh, Aditi Ashok and Mehar Atwal at the tournament which is a flagship event of the IGU`s domestic Tour.

Gursimar Badwal, Raksha Phadke, Millie Saroha, Anisha Padukone and Tvesa Malik will be the leading players at this event which dates back to 1906.

The All India Ladies Amateur, now which is 105 years old is one of the oldest ladies amateur events in the world. Last year the title was won by Gauri Monga in Bangalore, and Gurbani won it in 2009. Defending champion Gauri is skipping the event because of examinations.

Vani, who turns 18 in January, has so far won two times and finished runner-up four times this season.

"It has been a good season and it will be cool to round it off with a win at All India Amateurs, which is the biggest event for us at the domestic scene," said Vani.

Vani has 227 points and hold a 16-point lead over her nearest rival, Gurbani (211) and lying third is Aditi (209). The points are calculated on the basis of six-best finishes.

Vani`s wins came at the Western India and Northern India and she was unlucky to be disqualified from the USHA DGC Ladies for teeing up from the wrong spot.

"I am not looking at anyone else. I just want to play my best and the last few weeks have been hectic, but I am enjoying it. I played the Eastern India, where I was second (Aditi Ashok was the winner) and then flew in straight for the Hero Women`s Indian open and then immediately after is the All India Ladies Amateur.

"These days there are lot of events for us to play and it can get tiring. But I suppose I just got some rest when I was disqualified from the DGC Ladies," she said with a laugh.

Aditi, another amateur who has been having a great season has moved to third following her win at the Eastern India earlier this week. She was also second at the USHA DGC Ladies.

Gurbani, winner at the Army Ladies Open, has been consistent and a win at the All India Amateurs could give her a shot at the Merit list, but for that she would also need Vani to finish lower down the board.

Mehar Atwal, fourth on the Merit List, won the Southern India and Pune Ladies, and she could upset the best on her day.

Vani and Aditi have also been outstanding in their showing against the professionals. Both won once each, while playing in professional events and that, they admitted, has boosted their confidence.

The duo alongwith Gauri formed the Indian team for the Usha Queen Sirikit Cup in March when India finished fourth, equaling their best ever in Asia-Pacific`s top amateur competition.

"I am confident of shooting under-par scores and I am playing well right now," said Vani.

The 14-year-old Aditi, who started off the year as a newcomer into the Indian side at the Usha Queen Sirikit Cup, has grown into a fine player. She also won the Malaysian Juniors and her win at the Eastern India indicated she is in fine form.

"I am looking forward to a good result. I lost in the semi-finals last year and I want to win this big title," she said.


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