Kolkata, India: Gaurika Bishnoi will once more be aiming to upstage her international team-mates when she headlines the field in the 2015 Faldo Series India Girls’ Championship.
Defending the title she claimed last year, the talented 17-year-old is certain to be among the favourites at the historic Royal Calcutta Golf Club in the 12th leg of the record-breaking 2015-2016 Faldo Series Asia season.
A member of the Indian line-up at this year’s Asia Pacific Women’s Team Invitational for the Queen Sirikit Cup, Bishnoi currently sits in fourth place in the Indian Golf Union’s [IGU] Ladies Merit List and Junior Girls Merit standings.
Bishnoi, who says she practices her golf an average of three hours a day, is also the fourth highest rated Indian girl in the World Amateur Golf Ranking [WAGR].
It’s a position she’s keen to improve upon. And if any further motivation was required it’s provided by the fact that the leading lights in the 54-hole event at Royal Calcutta will gain entry to the 10th anniversary Faldo Series Asia Grand Final next March, to be hosted by Sir Nick Faldo.
However, with so many of the country’s most prominent young females also seeking qualification into the WAGR event, Bishnoi knows she’ll have to be at her best.
Despite the late withdrawal of Aditi Ashok due to college commitments, among those who will also be gunning for top spot are Bishnoi’s Queen Sirikit Cup team-mates Ridhima Dilawari and Nishtha Madan as well as Tvesa Malik.
Malik was the highest-placed Indian girl at the 2014-15 Faldo Series Asia Grand Final, finishing sixth in the under-21 category.
Six-time Major champion Faldo, Britain’s most successful golfer, praised the IGU for its foresight in becoming the first country on the Faldo Series Asia schedule to stage separate qualifiers for boys and girls.
“Last year there were 65 girls and 95 boys who participated. I believe similar numbers are forecast for this year, which is a big compliment to the Indian Golf Union for all the hard work they put into junior development.
“In the Faldo Series Asia Grand Final in recent years we’ve seen some outstanding Indian boys succeed with Rashid Khan and Abhijit Chadha both claiming victory.
“It would be wonderful if the 10th Faldo Series Asia Grand Final provided us with our very first Indian victory among the girls.”
Supported by The R&A and Mission Hills and endorsed by the Asian Tour and the Asia Pacific Golf Confederation, the 2015-16 Faldo Series Asia campaign stretches over 11 months and will include a minimum of 21 events in 17 countries including, for the first time, Australia.
Tokyo, Japan: The Professional Golfers’ Association of Japan, one of Asia’s eldest and most respected sporting organisations, has joined the Asian Golf Industry Federation.