Gauri Monga returned to the golf course after a gap of four years to win the 13th edition of DGC Ladies Amateur Open Golf Championship 2023, overcoming challenge from Amreen Sandhu, a 16-year-old golfer from Chandigarh.
This was the first time that the tournament, held every year at the Delhi Golf Club, offered points for the World Amateur Golf Rankings (WAGR).
Tied till the final hole on the tight Delhi Golf Club course, the 30-year-old Gauri took a one-stroke lead to come in first with Amreen ending as a close second.
Gauri, who had taken the long break from golf as she wanted to focus on her business and family, carded 236 over three days. Amreen returned with 237. Mayali Kashyap, who came third, carded 239 for the three days.
“I gave up competitive golf in 2016 due to my business and played only socially whenever there was something at DGC, my home club. In fact, the last time I played was at this tournament four years ago. This year I decided to participate,” said Gauri to Patriot after winning the title.
“I am quite surprised that I won. It feels like a comeback. I had played amateur golf for eight years and professional for three before I gave up completely,” added the golfer, who was ranked No. 1 woman golfer in the Indian Order of Merit over a decade ago and was winning consistently.
“I have played so much in my career and this is my home course, so I could immediately get back into the groove after a break,” added Gauri.
Amreen, one of the upcoming woman golfers, showcased good performance on Day One and Day Three but had a poor Day Two that probably cost her the No. 1 place.
Nevertheless, she was happy with the result.
“I have been playing golf for two years. This is the first time I have won [a trophy in] such a big tournament, so I am quite happy,” added Amreen, who practices at the Chandigarh Golf Club.
She may not have taken to golf had it not been for her younger brother’s success.
“I was into swimming, winning medals, but when I saw my brother, who will be 11 soon, winning trophies in golf, I thought I should too.”
Like Gauri, Mayali too returned to the golf course after a break of a few years.
The 38-year-old, who has been playing the sport since the age of 12, had to opt out of competitive sport after marriage.
“I took a break for a few years as I got married and had children. Now that both of them are a bit older, I have come back to the course. I am okay, doing fine,” said Mayali, who admitted that both Gauri and she had the advantage over others as they were playing on the home course.
As many as 102 women golfers participated in the 3-day 54-hole event. However, the actual competition was only among 25 golfers with the rest just making up the numbers.