Michele hopes to go one better at Indian Open

Kirti Patil
Friday, 19 October 2018

The Scottish pro Michele Thomson has great memories of the Indian Open Golf in 2017-when she posted a course record eight-under-par 64 in the second round

The Scottish pro Michele Thomson has great memories of the Indian Open Golf in 2017-when she posted a course record eight-under-par 64 in the second round

Gurgaon: Scotswoman Michele Thomson had a roller coaster life on an off the golf course-a prodigy as a teen and after turning pro at 20 she gave up all to take up the job of a beat constable in Scottish police-she is back with a mission after working at a golf course owned by the US President Donald Trump.

Last year she came so close to grabbing her maiden Ladies European Tour title and now Michele is hoping to go one better and fill that gap in her resume by winning the Hero Women’s Indian Open that begins at the Gary Player-Signature DLF Golf and Country Club on Thursday.

The Scottish pro took a three-shot lead into the final round and seemed to have everything under control, before unraveling in the closing stages and losing by one shot to French golfer Camille Chevalier last year.

As a prodigy in her teens Michele won numerous amateur titles and was in the Curtis Cup team before turning pro but a lonely feeling on the Tour saw her give up the game.

Later when she worked at a golf course, she did not play golf, till in 2013, her love for golf re-surfaced, while watching it on TV. By 2014 she was slowly coming back and played some events in 2014 and 2015. She did not play on LET in 2016 but was back in 2017 and she did extremely well, including finishing second in India.

Michele has great memories of 2017 when she posted a course record eight-under-par 64 in the second round of the 2017 event which helped her take the lead, but she was unable to convert that into a historic win.

“I’m super excited to be back. The course has obviously been lengthened a little bit this year, but it feels like the same kind of place and I’m excited to get going. I’m playing well again and I’ve got good memories from here, so hopefully I can go one better,” said Michele after finishing third in the Pro-Am on Wednesday.

“I’m approaching it in exactly the same way as last year. I am looking for a good finish. I need a good finish this week, but just want to enjoy it and play sensible. You don’t want to be too aggressive around this golf course, but hit the fairways and the right parts of the greens and you’ll be scoring well.”

Michele is 90th on the Ladies European Tour order of merit and wants to move back inside the top 80 to be assured of her full card for next year. She has made six cuts from 10 starts, including a season-best finish of 15th place in the Canberra Classic, but winning two medals at the European Championships in Glasgow in August gave the 30-year-old from Aberdeen a massive confidence boost.

She arrived in India in form after a 49th place finish in the Lacoste Ladies Open de France and a 33rd in the Estrella Damm Mediterranean Ladies Open in Spain.
“I just want to enjoy the week and the same kind of outcome as last year would be ideal,” she said.

“I’ve got one of my friends, Jenna Hunter, who plays on the ALPG and is a New Zealand PGA Pro, as my caddie. She’s a great player and a very good green reader and that is needed this week as the greens are quite extravagant. I’m excited to get going,” Michele added.

The Scot will tee off at the 10th hole in the first group of the afternoon wave on Thursday in the company of Marianne Skarpnord and Holly Clyburn.

Silvia wins Skills Challenge
Spaniard Silvia Banon won herself a two-night Swiss holiday courtesy Swiss Air after piloting her Pro-Am team to a win, while Caroline Hedwall looking for her second Hero Women’s Indian Open title, showed her twin Jacqueline the course ahead of her caddying duties for next four days.

The defending champion Camille Chevalier and Astrid Vayson De Pradenne were all set after soaking in the sights of the National Capital Region.

But now all 120 players, including the 17 Indians, are focused on the US$ 500,000 Hero Women’s Indian Open.

Amandeep, Gaurika among early starters
Amandeep Drall will be the earliest top Indian to tee off on Thursday morning at 6.55 am with Felicity Johnson and Karolin Lampert, while Gaurika Bishnoi will play the first round with Korea’s A Hyeon Kim and Thai player, Pannarat Thanapolboonyaras and they tee off at 7.05 am from the first.

India’s best finisher at Tied-6th in 2017, Vani Kapoor has been paired with Eleanor Givens of England and Noora Komulainen of Finland at 7.35 am from the 10th tee, while talented amateur, Diksha Dagar plays with Lucie Andre and Indian pro Siddhi Kapoor at 7.45 am from the tenth tee.

Tvesa paired with Beth Allen and Hedwall
In the afternoon the leader on WGAI’s Hero Order of Merit, Tvesa Malik play alongside former Ladies European Tour Order of Merit winner Beth Allen and 2011 champion Caroline Hedwall at 11.10 am from the first tee.

Last year’s low amateur Pranav Urs, who has recently snared a US$ 100,000 golf scholarship in US, is paired with Becky Morgan and Vikki Laing and they tee off from the 10th at 12.10 pm. Before her, local amateur, Sifat Sagoo will go out with Sarah Schober and Stacy Lee Bergman from 10th hole.

Live Telecast
Fans will be able to catch all the action, with live international television coverage in India on DSport. It will also be streamed live on the LET’s Website and Facebook pages.

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