A deadly swing and looks to die for…
The seventh edition of Hero Women’s Indian Open golf tournament teed off at the Delhi Golf Club recently. The main attraction of this year’s tournament was Sharmila Nicollet, the Indo-French golfer from Bangalore who was leading the Indian challenge. At a very young age, Sharmila has caught the eye of golf fans across the country with her quality strokes as well as her deadly looks. Read on for this promising golfer’s sporting journey so far.
A star is born : Born on March 12, 1991 to Bangalore perfumist Sulekha and French software professional Marc Nicollet, Sharmila did her early education in Bishop Cotton Girls’ School and Bangalore International school.
A promising athlete : Sharmila showed a keen interest in aquatic sports at an early age. Having won 72 gold and silver medals in state and national aquatic meets, she is also a former national sub-junior swimming champ.
Early interest in golf : Sharmila took up golf at the age of 11. Her playful interest in the sport soon turned serious and she soon made a name for herself in the junior circuit.
Doha Asian Games, 2006 : Aged just 15, Sharmila represented India in the 2006 Asian Games in Doha. Her impressive performances also earned her the chance to represent the country in the Asia Pacific Junior Golf Tournament in the USA, the Queen Sirikit Cup at Japan and the Malaysian open.
Topping the charts : Sharmila’s early success didn’t go without notice. She was adjudged the best Girl Junior Golfer for the year 2005-2006 in India and Top Girl Junior, Open Ladies Amateur Golfer in 2007-2008. She was also the youngest Lady Golfer to win the All India Amateur Championship in 2007-2008, along with 7 Open Amateur Tournaments.
Partnering a legend : Sharmila partnered veteran English golfer Laura Davies as a 16-year-old amateur for a special match ahead of the 2007 Ladies European Tour event in India. The event gave her the opportunity to closely observe an accomplished international golfer.
Turning professional : Sharmila turned professional in 2009 and joined the Women’s Golf Association of India. Her transition from being an amateur to a pro was very smooth as she quickly rose in the ranks with success on the domestic as well as international front.
Consolidating her position with the WGAI : Two WGAI wins early on in her professional career saw Sharmila win the Order of Merit by the end of the 2009-10 season.
Gaining international experience : In 2010, Sharmila featured in a number of important LPGA events including Thailand, Indonesia and China, together with her overseas Ladies European tour events in Finland, Slovakia, Evian masters, Dutch Open.
India’s finest : A top 10 finish at the 2010 The Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) event in Bangkok along with four WGAI wins in India helped Sharmila finish the season on top the WGAI Order of Merit.
Top Indian golfer in 2011 : During the 2011 Women’s Indian Open, Sharmila finished as the top Indian golfer at T22, with the lowest score of the day in the final round.
Winning record : Sharmila’s triumph at the Hero-KGA tournament in 2012 was the latest of her astonishing 11 wins on the WGAI.
Global recognition : In 2012, Sharmila became the youngest Indian golfer to qualify for the European Tour and only the second after Smriti Mehra to earn a full card on the Ladies European Tour.
Famous quote : “A golfer with a good/decent game in the top ranks who is stylish with looks on her side can change the face of a sport. Like Sania Mirza to tennis and (badminton player) Saina Nehwal in India. I want to emulate these players and give golf a facelift in India.”
– India Syndicate