Gurugram, Nov 26 (IANS): With five players producing par or better on the final while winning the title in their age category, the US Kids Golf Indian Championship provided some high-quality golf at the Classic Golf and Country Club, here on Friday.
Ishan Ahuja (Boys 15-18), Adit Veeramachaneni (Boys 9) and Kabir Goyal (Boys 7 and under) produced one-under rounds as did Lavanya Gupta (Girls 15-18). Pritish Singh Karayat overcame the slow first round of 76 with 70-72 on the final two days to beat back a strong field in Boys 13-14.
Four other winners, Rabab Kahlon (Girls 9-10), a less-than-fully fit Mahreen Bhatia (Girls 13-14), Chaitanya Pandey (Boys 11) and Kartik Singh (Boys 12) turned in cards of 1-over 73 each to emerge toppers in their respective age groups.
Dan Van Horn, Founder and President of US Kids Golf worldwide gave away the prizes. In his address to the young golfers, Van Horn said that some of the best current golfers in the world like Justin Thomas, Collin Morikawa, Scottie Scheffler, and'women's star Lexi Thompson had played the US kids events.
He also revealed that more than 40 players in both the US Open a'd Women's US Open had played in US Kids Golf, underlining the strong foundation this series provides.
Kriti Parekh kept her nerves as her main rivals Amiya Koul (Singapore) and Shambhavi Chaturvedi fell to bogeys in their final hole, the ninth. A par for Amiya would have led to a playoff.
Kriti had given away three bogeys on her first nine, the back stretch of the course, and another four bogeys on the second nine, but her 36-hole lead of two shots held good for her as she won by one shot over Amiya and by two over Shambhavi.
Amaira Gulati produced another consistent 9-hole round of 2-over 38 in Girls 8 and under, to win by a whopping 12 shots.
Jot Sarup Gupta shot a nine-hole score of 43 in the final round of Boys 8 and Vidit Aggarwal in Boys 10 carded 79 but held on to win as his rival failed to capitalise on the opportunity. Based on their performances this week, and on the domestic Tour, players will gain eligibility to the World Championship at Pinehurst and the European Championships in Scotland and UK.
Kabir Goyal, a tiny tot for Noida, Uttar Pradesh was the only player with under-par rounds on all three days with 33-33-35 in his nine-hole rounds on the Canyon Course. Two other players, both in the Boys 12 category, winner Kartik Singh, who was the most consistent with 71-69-73 and second-placed Prince Bainsla 68-71-77 carded two under-par rounds in the tournament.
Rajesh Srivastava, President of US Kids Golf India, and Rajat Sethi, General Manager, Classic Golf and Country Club, and Van Horn, also unveiled a unique ''CGC - US Kids Golf India'' card which with a nominal membership will allow kids to play full rounds even on weekends. Also, the Canyon Course at the Classic GCC will now have distance and age-specific yardages.
More than 100 youngsters from eight countries took part in the event and the next edition of the Indian Championship will be held in November 2023.
The last two events of the 2022 domestic US Kids Golf India series will be held on December 15 and 16.