Reigning No. 1 Diksha Dagar and upcoming golfer Tvesa Malik shall be strong title contenders when the 100th USHA All India Ladies Amateur Championship gets underway at the tricky Delhi Golf Club on Monday.
This event has been the platform for the talented golfers to advance to the next level, and this edition will once again bring together the top Indians in women's amateur golf against foreign golfers from South Africa, Ireland, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Scotland and Sri Lanka.
With defending champion Gaurika Bishnoi turning professional, just like Aditi Ashok, the 2012 and 2014 champion, this year's top stars will include Sifat Sagoo, Amrita Anand, Seher Atwal, Anika Varma and Ridhima Dilawari, besides Dagar and Malik.
"This year has been very good. Diksha, me and Gaurika, who turned pro this year, travelled to Thailand, Mexico, Korea and China, so we had a lot of experience.
A lot of teams who will be coming here, we have played against them this year," said Malik, who is currently ranked 2nd in the merit order of IGU for Amateurs.
"It is the biggest event so we play every year. It would be probably my fourth time that I am playing this event. Last edition I finished tied third, Diksha finished second at Chandigarh.
First time so many international teams are coming to India. We are really looking forward to play," added the Kolkata-born golfer, who won 2014 Sri Lanka Amateur Golf Championship and DGC Ladies Open twice in 2012 and 2014.
Dagar, who dominated the IGU's Amateur Circuit by winning four out of eight tournaments, echoed similar views, saying: "It has been a good year as IGU sent me to many international tournaments and I have finished second last year so really looking forward to the tournament."
Aditi won the Usha All India Ladies Amateur in 2012 and 2014 before turning professional in 2016. Aditi's success at the Rio Olympics and then winning back-to-back two Ladies European events, has spurred many ladies to use this platform to climb up in their career.
"It has been very inspiring. She had come to play at the DLF Hero women's Indian Open. We know her since amateur days and it is nice to watch her and see how she has improved," said Malik, who qualified to play the Nick Faldo Asia Grand Final Championship in China in 2015, 2016 & 2017.
Dagar, who was Amateur winner in the 10th Hero Women Indian Open, said: "It is great to see that Aditi is performing well. She is the first India to win an European tour event and it is very inspiring."
The USHA All India Ladies Amateur Championships will start with the 36-hole stroke play qualifier which will pave the way for 32 best to go through the preceding All India Match play.