By Kent Gray
This has been a tough year for everyone but Diksha Dagar intends bringing a message of hope and reliance, as well as her impressive golf game, to next month’s OMEGA Dubai Moonlight Classic.
The 18-year-old lefty, who was born deaf, created history before the coronavirus lockdown when she become the youngest Indian to win on the Ladies European Tour at the South African Women’s Open in March.
That victory will make her one of the players to watch at the $285,000 LET stop on the Faldo course at Emirates Golf Club from November 4-6.
COVID-19 restrictions mean the Moonlight Pro-Am will be played behind closed doors but Dagar, who has cochlear implants, is determined to let her game be a beacon for those watching on television around the world, including Dubai Sports Channel.
“In such a difficult year as 2020, just being able to play in tournaments such as the OMEGA Dubai Moonlight Classic make me incredibly lucky,” she said.
“To be able to play professional golf is all thanks to my family and the people around me for offering me guidance, support and encouragement. Being born deaf, I never knew what it was like to hear or that I was missing anything. It’s this attitude that has allowed me to turn pro and compete with the attitude that I can play with the best.”
Dagar, who had her father and coach, Col Narinder Dagar, on her bag in Cape Town, is just a wisp of a girl but clearly has a huge heart. She dominated the junior ranks in her homeland, made the cut as a 15-year-old amateur after gaining an invite to the professional Hero Women’s Indian Open in 2016, won a silver medal at the Deaflympics in Turkey the following year, represented India at the Queen Sirikit Cup and won the 2018 Singapore Open.
“Golf has been an anchor in my life, bringing me great joy and happiness. To those suffering with their own problems, particularly young girls and women, I recommend accepting your respective situation and learning that whatever the difficulty, it is likely to only form a small part of your overall life,” Dagar said.
“It’s important to work hard and take advantage of the chances we’re offered. There is always opportunity in adversity, so use it.
“The fact that the tournament organisers have taken the decision to host this event behind closed doors in Dubai, is testament to our game’s resilience. Even if unable to watch in-person, golf brings excitement and joy to those watching and my goal for the end of this year is to play as well as I possibly can for those stuck at home and perhaps inspire those who thought golf might not be for them.”