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Vani turns pro, to clash with Sharmila, Smriti

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Vani, who has represented India at the Asian Games and Queen Sirikit Cup among other international events, will lock horns with the top women pros like Sharmila Nicollet, who now plays on the Ladies European Tour, and Mehra, a former LPGA player.

Vani, who turned 18 in January, dominated amateur golf in the country for the last two seasons.

"It is exciting to play as a pro and of course I am a bit nervous. Some butterflies, may be they will stay till I tee off on Wednesday. But I am sure when I am on the course, things will be normal. It is a course I have played very often, so I am looking forward to the event," said Vani.

"I was waiting to turn 18 and since my long-term plan is to play professional golf, I felt this was the ideal time. I wanted to start off right from the opening of the season," she added.

As an amateur, Vani had won the fifth leg of the Hero Women's Pro Tour by 10 shots over Nalini Singh Siwach, who was second, but the top pro.

The Hero-KGA event also marks a landmark partnership between the Women's Golf Association of India (WGAI) and the KGA, which is hosting the event.

The event carries a purse of Rs 10 lakh, the biggest so far in the history of Women's Professional golf, with the winner taking Rs 2,62,500 and the runners-up Rs 1,80,000.

Interestingly, Aditi Ashok, a local, who is still an amateur, will also figure in the tournament. (MORE)

  

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