Avani, five others all set for Asia’s top amateur event -

Avani, five others all set for Asia’s top amateur event  

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Avani Prashanth. 

Khel Today Bureau 

Pattaya: India’s leading amateur, Avani Prashanth, will make her fourth appearance at the 2024 Women’s Amateur Asia Pacific (WAAP) with five other Indians at the region’s finest amateur event.

India’s six-member field sent by the Indian Golf Union comprises Avani, Vidhatri Urs, Mannat Brar, Keerthana Rajeev Nair, Saanvi Somu and Heena Kang at the event to be held from February 1 to 4 at the Siam Country Club. Former National champion Vandana Agarwal is the manager of the team.

As Avani plays her fourth WAAP, Vidhatri and Mannat are making a second appearance and the remaining three are debutants. Incidentally, Heena’s sister, Ceerat, played in the 2022 edition at the same course.

As per the list of players entered this week, Avani is one of the top 10 stars. Some of the players ranked above the World No. 42 Avani, are World No. 4 Minsol Kim of Korea, Japan’s Hinano Muguruma (22), Sayaka Teraoka (23), Mamika Shinchi (33), Rin Yoshida (38) and defending champion from Thailand Eila Galitsky (40th). Rianne Malixi of the Philippines is 43rd.

Avani, who has been planning to turn pro at some point in 2024, has had some success in 2024 with a second place finish at the Australian Masters of Amateurs and is a winner of the Queen Sirikit Cup in 2023 and was fourth at World Amateur Team Championships. She also won a pro event in Europe and was in Top-10 at numerous Ladies European Tour events, including the Hero Women’s Indian Open in 2023.

After the WAAP, Avani has been invited to play at the Magical Kenya Ladies, then the Sage Valley Invitational and Augusta National Women’s Amateur. Avani has played at both events in the past.

The winner gets a spot at three major championships in 2024 which are the AIG Women’s Open, the Amundi Evian Championship and Chevron Championship. Also, the champion will get invitations for the  121st Women’s Amateur Championship, the 2024, Augusta National Women’s Amateur Championship, the Hana Financial Group Championship and the Women’s Australian Open.

In the first five editions of the WAAP, players from Thailand (Atthaya Thitikul and Eila Galitsky), Japan (Yuka Yasuda and Mizuki Hashimoto) and Chinese Taipei (Ting-hsuan Huang) have held aloft the sought-after trophy.

The WAAP championship was developed by The R&A and the Asia-Pacific Golf Confederation (APGC) to inspire future generations of women golfers.

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