Women's golf WPGT

Seasoned Drall and latest winner Hitaashee lead field in 1st leg of Hero WPGT

BENGALURU: Seasoned Amandeep Drall, who led the Hero Order of Merit at the end of the ninth leg, which was the final event of the year 2020 in the Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour, will lead a 35-player field in the first leg of 2021.

Amandeep, who had a fine run in the truncated 2020 calendar, takes on a mixed bunch of experienced and young stars in the first leg at the gorgeous Prestige Golfshire course from Wednesday.

Teenaged Hitaashee Bakshi, who ended 2020 with a breakthrough win in only her second tournament as a professional, will seek to repeat that success and get 2021 off to a winning start as the Hero WPGT becomes the first pro Tour to see action in the South Asian region.

The 16-year-old Hitaashee, who won the closing event of last year at the Classic Golf and Country Club, is paired with two relatively new names, amateur Vidhatri Urs and Neeharika Thangamma.

Though Tvesa Malik and Diksha Dagar have chosen to delay their start in the 2021 season, the field includes Amandeep Drall, who has more than 15 wins on the domestic Tour. Also in the field are Ridhima Dilawari, five-time winner in 2019, Vani Kapoor, a proven star on the Indian circuit and Pranavi Urs, who won both as an amateur and a pro in 2020.

Ridhima, who won five times in 2019, but only once in 2020, will seek to regain the form she showed two years ago. The 2020 season saw just nine events, six before the pandemic halted all golfing action in March and three when golf re-started after almost nine months in December. The 2020 and 2021 events have been merged into a single season with a single winner to be declared for the Order of Merit at the end of 2021.