11 January 2019: Sharmila Nicollet has a new home. The golfer from Bengaluru is setting sail to the USA to play the Symetra Tour, in a bid to carve a path to the LPGA. The 27-year-old shared her delight with her followers on social media and the Tour folks were quick to acknowledge her with a warm welcome message.
— Sharmila Nicollet (@MissNicollet) January 11, 2019
Sharmila has fifteen professional victories to her credit, since turning professional in 2009. She was also the WGAI player of the year in 2010. When she earned a full card to play the Ladies European Tour in 2012, she became the youngest Indian to accomplish the feat, before Aditi Ashok took the mantle in 2016.
— Symetra Tour (@ROAD2LPGA) January 11, 2019
Just last year, Sharmila became the first Indian to qualify to play on the China LPGA, when she finished T21 in an 88 player field in a qualifying school event. The membership to the Symetra Tour is another positive step for the golfer, who is seeking to chase down points to try and qualify for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
Every year the top ten graduates from the Symetra Tour earn full-time membership to the LPGA, the most prestigious and rewarding circuit for women in golf. Aditi is already a member on the LPGA circuit and is set to play her third straight season on the elite Tour.
Sharmila has been training body and mind for the rigours of life on the international circuit. She is an avid practitioner of Yoga and meditation, besides a propensity to put in some hard miles in the gym.
The 859th ranked Indian played five events on the LPGA last season, with a T31 at the Ladies Classic Bonville her best result on the circuit. Aditi is the highest ranked Indian golfer at an even hundred on the Women’s World Golf Rankings.
Vani Kapoor and Neha Tripathi lead a bunch of young Indian golfers seeking to make a mark on the international circuit. The LET has been a favourite hunting ground for several of our golfers, but their quest for success is yet to find full bloom.
Sharmila will play on the Symetra Tour by virtue of her finish in the LPGA Qualifying Tournament, under category I. Players who finish top 80 and ties at Stage II of the previous year’s LPGA Qualifying Tournament, but do not advance to Q-Series. Players are ranked based on the order of their finish at Stage II.