June 29, 2017: Neha Tripathi is having a season to remember. She has earned a ticket to the Ladies European Tour at the end of last year. Her joy from professional success was doubled when she married her love, Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan.
Neha has been in good form and training hard as she makes the best of the break on the WGAI and LET. The lady golfer from Delhi is currently in London, supporting her husband, who is playing the main draw of doubles in Wimbledon.
Anand Datla of Golfing Indian spoke exclusively with Neha about the state of her career and plans for the season.
GI: What does your calendar look like between now and December?
Neha: It feels good to say that The off season has finally come to an end. The LET and WGAI tournaments kick off together, so the remaining 6 months look quite busy. There are a total of 12 events to be played in the coming months, so I’m gearing up for that.
I played an event in Hong Kong (EFG HONG KONG LADIES OPEN 2017), Asian Tour, in the second week of June, and now I will be playing at the LADIES EUROPEAN THAILAND CHAMPIONSHIP, being held at the Phoenix Gold Golf and Country Club, followed by HWPGT LEG 8, being held at the Clover Greens, in the first and second week of July.
GI: Now that you have a few weeks of down time, how are you staying in tune with your game and fitness?
Neha: I have been working on my swing for quite some time with my coach Mr Jesse Grewal and I finally feel good about it. I think I’ve put in a fair amount of work the last month training and am ready for the tournaments coming up.
My fitness levels had dropped down due to various reasons. But I started to work on the stability part of it apart from the strengthening, and I feel much better than before. Still not 100% with the fitness levels but am on the right track.
GI: How has your recent marriage helped your perspective as a golfer? Does the sense of contentment help you set higher goals for yourself?
Neha: The marriage has certainly brought upon a change in my life. But Having a partner who also has a sporting background is very helpful as there’s an understanding on the time and effort required for getting better. I feel that I’ve become more serious about my sport. The intensity of training has definitely gone up.
I’ve always set high goals for myself in life but I feel that with Jeevan around, I’m getting a good push towards them. He also helps me stay calm during my tournaments, so thats a plus point.
GI: What is your expectation this season from your run on the Ladies European Tour?
Neha: As of now I’ve just played one event on the tour but am looking forward to playing the upcoming events. My goal is to have a few top finishes and keep my card for 2018
GI: There is significant momentum for women’s golf in India. What can be done to deepen the HWPGT and bring in more young girls to play golf?
Neha: With Aditi making it on the LPGA and five other Indians (Aman, Vani, Sharmila, Saaniya and myself) getting onto the LET, it’s safe to say that the women’s golf is on an upraise. There’s already been a growth in the number of girls picking up the sport.
I feel that in every tournament that we play in india, we should hold golf clinics for juniors and amateurs. These clinics shouldn’t just be limited to the tournament times but can also take place during off season. Pro-Ams can also help a lot, and hence should be emphasised upon as well.