No shortcuts to success for Sharmila

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Nicollet Sharmila of India

Nicollet Sharmila is India’s newest rising star and certainly isn’t short on ambition.

The 19-year-old from Bangalore comes into the Hero Honda Indian Open with only the intention to win the co-sanctioned Ladies European Tour and Ladies Asian Golf Tour event.

“I want to. . . become the first Indian women to do so,” Sharmila told the Times of India. “I am familiar with the course and that would be an advantage.”

With three victories on the Women’s India Tour this year, the country’s former top amateur is already looking to compete on the global level.

“I want to do well here as my performance will decide where I head to next,” she said. “There is lot of scope abroad. I want to play against the best (in Europe and the United States).”

But since joining the Ladies Asian Golf Tour last year, Sharmila acknowledges she still has a long way to go.

“I’m a professional but I’m not a specialist yet,” she said. “There is still a lot more that I have to do . . . especially in mental approach and course management.

“I don’t wish to take any short cuts so that I will not miss out on any steps.”

Sharmila gets a glimpse of her future starting Thursday at the DLF Golf and Country Club, where a challenging field awaits her and 18 other Indian players.

Money list No. 2 Laura Davies needs a win here and a strong showing at the season finale in Dubai next month for a chance to catch Lee-Anne Pace for the LET title. The Englishwoman is €62,946 behind the South African, who won twice in October.

Phatlum Pornanong of Thailand is aiming for her third straight Indian Open victory.

Ladies European Tour contributed to this report.

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