Andalucia Costa del Sol Open: Indian Diksha Dagar seeks historic LET title

The Ladies European Tour season started with an Indian success, and it may well end with one too. Diksha Dagar is one of six players who can win the LET’s overall Race to Costa del Sol.

Lying in third place, behind Thailand’s Trichat Cheenglab and France’s Solheim Cup star Celine Boutier, Dagar knows that victory at season-ending Andalucia Costa del Sol Open would see her become the first Indian to clinch the prestigious title, as long as Cheenglab doesn’t finish in outright second.

“This sort of opportunity doesn’t come around easily, I have had to earn the chance,” says the 22-year old, whose father Narinder is her full-time coach and caddie.

“My ball striking and driving is really good, now it all depends on my putting. If the putts drop, I have a chance. Last year I finished 54th in the standings, now I’m third.”

Dagar’s achievement, if she were to win the Race to Costa del Sol, and be in the company of the likes of England’s Georgia Hall (2018, 2017), Charley Hull (2014), and Laura Davies (a record seven-time winner) would be one of the greatest by an Indian sportswoman.

Her season began slowly, missing the cut at the opening tournament of 2023, the Kenya Ladies Open, but she figured that playing the long game would ultimately bring rewards.

Dagar has played in 26 of the 28 LET tournaments so far this year, a gruelling schedule that has taken her across Africa, to Saudi Arabia, from Florida to her home event in Delhi – as well as 17 events in Europe.

“I just look at it as playing golf every day,” Dagar says, as she fine tunes her short game before Thursday’s start at the Las Brisas course.

“India is far away, so it makes no sense to go home between events. I may as well keep playing tournaments. When I play regularly, I learn about my weaknesses, and then I can improve on them.”

Aditi Ashok, who won that opening event of the LET season in Kenya, has an LPGA Tour card, and is the highest ranked Indian female golfer, at 59th in the world. Dagar now resides at 167, jumping up more than 200 places during this successful year – a year that saw her win her second LET title, in the Czech Republic.

“I received so many messages of congratulations,” she recalls, after her success in June. “I was thinking about my mum when I won, and wanting to see her expression. When I did go back to India, I had many people wanting photographs with me. It feels so special.

“It would mean a lot to people in India, if I won the title. It would make the golf community in India so proud.”

Dagar has made the second most birdies on the LET in 2023, with 263, just six behind Cheenglab, who is also leading the Rookie of the Year standings. Finishing in the top 10 on the LET also has the benefit of a place in the final stage of the LPGA Tour Qualifying Series in December.

The other players who could win the Race to Costa Del Sol with victory this week are Sweden’s Johanna Gustavsson, Germany’s Alexandra Forsterling and Spain’s Ana Pelaez Trivino.

In a record-breaking season for the LET, where overall prize money for the 29 tournaments is close to 35 million euros, it could come down to the final putt on Sunday to decide the destination of the title.

Dagar hopes it is her putting for glory. One putt that would bring the perfect end to a remarkable season.


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