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Popular Caroline Hedwall comes to Hero Women's Indian Open after ending a six-year title drought

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NEWS
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41   //    09 Oct 2018, 18:45 IST

Caroline Hedwall of Sweden during the final round of Lacoste Ladies Open De France 2018
Caroline Hedwall of Sweden during the final round of Lacoste Ladies Open De France 2018

Gurgaon, October 09, 2018: A month after ending her six-year-long title drought, Caroline Hedwall is looking at the Hero Women’s Indian Open with a lot of expectations.

The 29-year-old Swede, who hit the Ladies European Tour with a bang, winning four titles including the Hero Women’s Indian Open and the LET Order of Merit in her Rookie Year in 2011, managed only one more win after her dream start in 2011.

Last month she finally got the monkey off her back with a fine win at the Lacoste Ladies Open de France, one of the big events on the Ladies European Tour. She now comes to India hoping to continue that success.

The players will have an added incentive of a record purse of US $ 500,000, and the event to be held over 72 holes, will also be telecast live globally.

Hedwall heads a list of 11 stars from the Ladies European Tour’s Top-20 in the current Order of Merit. Five of last year’s Top-10 finishers, including India’s own Vani Kapoor, will also be vying for the title.

Hedwall is one of the two past LET Order of Merit winners in the field – the other being Beth Allen – and she is also one of the two past champions to make a return.

The field includes defending champion Camille Chevalier of France, who after her win last year has had a modest season with five cuts in 10 starts.

For Hedwall, India holds a special place. The Hero Women’s Indian Open was one of the four big titles she won in that special season of 2011.

She did come back to India a few times but has not been able to replicate the same form. She plans to rectify that later this month when the 2018 edition is held at the Gary Player layout.

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When Hedwall won in 2011, the event was held at the Arnold Palmer course. If Hedwall wins this year, she will become only the second player to win the event more than once, but the first to win it on both the Arnold Palmer and Gary Player layouts, which the DLF Golf and Country Club can boast of.

Her current form indicates that Hedwall is all set to make a strong bid for the title once again. She has played seven events on the LET, as she divides her time between the LET and LPGA.

On the LET this year, she has missed just one cut in seven starts and finished in the Top-10 four times, including the win in France.

In the period soon after her magical rookie season in 2011, Hedwall shifted her focus to the LPGA, where one of her best seasons was in 2013. She was in the Top-10 six times and then as one of the Captain’s Pick, she became the first player ever in Solheim Cup history to win five matches.

After 2013, she has tasted only moderate success, though every year she has managed a few Top-10 finishes on the LPGA. The closest she came to her first LPGA win was in the 2014 Reignwood LPGA Classic.

Now that Hedwall, who is a very popular past champion, has tasted victory after a gap of six years, she is keen to build on that success on the LET and her improved performance to take her game to the next level.

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