Sneha leads the Hero Order of Merit by a mere Rs. 500 over Hitaashee Bakshi, who has won once and finished runner-up three times.
Indian golfer Vani Kapoor believes it’s an uphill task for women to opt for golf as a career, however, the things are improving as the women golfers are inspiring the upcoming generations to dream and to play.
“It is difficult in India because parents don’t really support a girl child to go out and play. But I am happy that the things are changing and golf is now looked as a sport,” Vani said in an interview with The Statesman.
Claiming that there has been a rise in the number of women at golf courses, Vani said: “When I started playing golf, I used to be the only girl with so many guys on the greens. Now, when I visit golf course, I see an equal number of girls.”
“At the international level, Indian women are coming up well. To have a name, which media do justice to, we need their support and appropriate media coverage,” the 23-year-old added.
Vani was of the opinion that men usually have more money to spend while most of the women are still dependent on their kin. “Men have more money than women and they can to do well in any sport, not just golf.”
Recently, Vani made a disappointing start in Sanya Ladies Open, carding two-over 74 on the opening day at Yalong Bay Golf Club in China. Earlier, the Delhi-based golfer was tied-6th at Hero Women’s Indian Open.
When asked how she keeps her mind stable after a disappointing day at the course, Vani said: “I have to go out there and give my best. Sometimes you get unlucky; sometimes things don’t go your way and you can’t do much but I truly believe if you are giving your best you can handle that easily. Whatever comes to block your way that is going to come anyway and disappointment happens. It’s a part of a journey and it makes you learn a way more than a good round would.”
Having won four titles this year, Vani terms 2017 a satisfactory year, albeit, she has her eyes set on bigger goals for 2018.
“I haven’t been able to play much in India this year. Because I got my European Open card and a lot of tournaments were clashing so had to skip a few in India. Overall with four titles out of six events, I am happy with the year.”
“I want to keep my card in Ladies Open this year, which most likely I have but I’ll get to know the confirmation on December 9. Next year, I would like to go for the LPGA Qualifiers and hopefully win a few titles for my country,” Vani added, hinting at her future aspirations.
Vani started playing golf at the age of nine and it is ironic that she didn’t like the game much initially and was pushed into it by her parents. “My dad used to play golf and I used to spend time with him at the golf course because it’s a game that takes really long time.”
“But when I met my coach Anitya Chand, I started liking the sport. He (Anitya) is very motivating and good with his kin. I started winning at an early age under his guidance. I believe, winning is something that motivated me to work harder and that’s what keeps me going,” she said.
Vani voiced the fact that golf is an expensive sport and that is where a lot of young talent goes off the contention. “Golf is a very expensive sport and it was one major part of my struggle. Besides that, it’s a normal struggle that every sportsperson goes through. Through the whole learning procedure, everyone gets a bit bullied and everyone has the downs so the rest was same.”
Hailing the improvement in facilities for golfers at golf courses in India, Vani opined that “golf has a bright future in India”.
“I am actually very lucky that I play at DLF Golf and Country Club and they have the best facilities in India. The facilities are there, the coaches are nice and the golf is looked as a career option now. Psychologist and parents are supporting the aspiring golfers. A lot of Indian golfers, irrespective of their genders, are doing well in national and international competitions.”
Recently, Mawana Sugars announced its association with Vani to bear all her sporting expenses. “I am really thankful to them because international golf is expensive. You do need the monetary support. If that is covered, I can play golf freely without any stress.”
Advocating corporate sponsoring for the growth of sportspersons and the sport at large, Vani said: “I think they play a big part in every sportsperson’s life, not just mine. If you look at the league that happens, they play the major role as they pump in money due to which the things get smooth.”