Kavita Sehmi will need to calm her adrenaline rushes down when she makes her first appearance in the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters to be held under the patronage of Her Royal Highness Princess Haya bint Al Hussein, wife of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice- President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, at the Emirates Golf Club from December 5 to 8.
For the 17-year-old Emirates Golf Club prodigy, who will be competing in the season-ending Ladies European Tour event on a sponsor’s invitation, it may sound like a quixotic challenge, but she is confident of being competitive when she joins the likes of defending champion Lexi Thompson, seasoned Laura Davies and charismatic Michelle Wie in a star-studded field.
“I am grateful to golf in Dubai for inviting me to play at this highest-level of golf. I know opportunities like this one don’t come knocking your door too often. I will try and give my best shot and see what happens,” said Kavita, who started playing golf when she was just six years old.
“I am not thinking far ahead, but my immediate goal is to try and make the cut and that in itself will constitute an achievement,” said Kavita, a two-time winner of the Junior Club Championship at Emirates Golf Club.
“I have not been playing competitive golf these because of my school exams, but have been taking lessons from Steven Deane (head pro at EGC) to fine tune my skills ahead of the tournament,” said Kavita, a grade 11th student at JESS in Arabian Ranches.
“I have played this (Majlis) course many times and know what it takes to shoot low. Hopefully, my long game would come in handy,” said Kavita, who averages about 260 yards off the tee.
“I don’t think making the cut is a distant dream, but it will all depend on how I fare with my putter,” said Kavita whose best round at her home course being a three-under 69.
“Whatever the outcome, it will be fun to play and meet players like Lexi, one of my good friends with whom I interact frequently on Facebook. I can’t wait to get started,” said Kavita, who finished second on the 2011-2012 Ladies Amateur Order of Merit in the UAE.
Mohamed Juma Buamaim, vice-chairman and CEO of golf in Dubai, believes such invitations to local talent will spur them to take the sport seriously and work harder on their game. “We try and rotate invitations each year so that everyone who has achieved a certain level of standard gets first-hand experience of what it takes to compete at this level of golf.
“I wish Kavita the very best and hope her presence in the elite field will motivate other emerging players to aim for greater things in life.”