Teenage amateur Kshitij Naveed Kaul impressed everyone with a power-packed performance which belied men twice his age during the European Tour co-sanctioned Hero Indian Open at the ultra-demanding DLF Golf & Country Club in Gurgaon.
The 17-year-old signed off with a brilliant 70 in the final round, especially when only 10 players could produce sub-par scores, to stand taller than other Indians competing in the US$ 1.75 million event.
To put in context, Kaul was a stroke ahead of PGA Tour regular Anirban Lahiri, who carded a 6-over 294 for the week, to share 32nd place with three-time Indian Open champion Jyoti Randhawa.
“It was a very exciting week for me to play at the picturesque and tough DLF Golf and Country Club at the Hero Indian Open 2018. It was great to share the range with the best golf players from Asia and Europe,” said Kaul, who was adjudged the Best Amateur of the tournament. Kaul played his first tournament at the age of 6. It was an IGU south zone event at EME Hyderabad. The golfer is coached by Hyderabad-based Commander Gangadhar, who is the only authorised golfing machine instructor in the country.
“Gangadhar sir has helped me to simplify my swing to present form. I go to see him whenever I get a week or 10 days off tournaments,” Kaul, who had 4 wins on the IGU circuit in 2017, told Golf Digest India. The talented teenager is looking forward to representing the country in the Youth Olympic Games and
Asian Games later this year.