10 February, 2018: The tide is in no mood to ebb away for Indian golf. The good news continues to flow like a perennial stream and it is the turn of the women now to bring us glory. Sharmila Nicollet forces her way into China LPGA with a convincing effort in the 2018 CLPGA Tour Qualifying Tournament. The charismatic Indian golfer produced a progressively better scores through the week to clinch her card for 2018.
The 26 year old from Bengaluru is sponsored by Hero. The swimmer turned golfer has worked hard over the off season to improve her fitness and revitalise her flagging career on the course. Her efforts seem to be paying rich dividends – with scores of 77-73-72 help her gain the rights to play on the China LPGA.
“Made it this week! Thrilled to qualify for the CLPGA tour ?Tough conditions on a links course,” gushed a delighted Sharmila on Twitter.
“Ya’ll must be wondering why CLPGA? Well going forward I want to get out of my comfort zone & test myself in all conditions on different tours which I feel will make me a better player.”
Nicollet has been in good form this year, having won the second leg of the Hero Women’s Pro Golf tour at the Bombay Presidency Golf Club, just ahead of Republic Day.
The girl from Bengaluru has been the poster girl of Indian women’s golf for over a decade now. She never quite looked back since starting out as a precocious 11 year old with plenty of determination. She won her first title just four years later, setting herself on course for a career in golf.
Injuries and perhaps a battle with motivation, seemed to have cost her time. But with her mind and body back in tune, Sharmila seems all set for a brilliant new phase in her career.
Working on a routine that combines time in gym, yoga and plenty of practice on the course, Sharmila has found a new wave of optimism. She was in the news last year for making her way to the ShopRite LPGA Classic through a Twitter vote. The recent results of Aditi Ashok also seem to have filled Sharmila with a new hope and energy.
“I feel that women Golf in India needs to grow at a faster pace, a much faster one. Parents much encourage their girls to take up the sport,” she told 4moles.com “The day is not far when we’ll see a string of women Golfers making their mark on the global terrain. A Golf boom, especially women’s Golf, definitely awaits India in the next few years,”
Sharmila Nicollet was T21 in the 2018 China LPGA Qualifying tournament
It augurs well for Indian golf that Nicollet is happy to compete again and is willing to take the risk of testing her game in unfamiliar conditions. The experience she can gain in China and the competition there with a host of emerging golfers, should serve her well in the years to come.