Junior Golf: January 2020

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Sharma Shines At Junior Presidents Cup

Kartik Sharma

18-year-old, left-handed, Kartik Sharma from Gurugram’s DLF Golf Academy earned high praise while defeating Stephen Campbell of USA in his singles match on Day 2 at the Junior Presidents Cup played the week before Tiger Woods’ Team USA took on Ernie Els’ Internationals, in Melbourne. Sharma’s team was down 9-3 against USA after Day 1 but fought back gallantly by winning 8 of the 12 matches on the second day through victories by Jayden Schaper, Kartik Sharma, Andi Xu, Bo Jin, Jang Hyung Lee, Samuel Simpson, Martin Vorster, and Christo Lamprecht.
Team International, led by former Aussie PGA TOUR player Stuart Appleby eventually went down to Justin Leonard’s USA Junior team at 13-11. The Internationals reduced US teams 9-3 leadto 13-11 and received praise from rival captain Leonard, who said, “You guys came out swinging today and gave us a real scare”
Players on the 12-man teams experienced a very different Royal Melbourne, which flexed its muscle as a “hot northerly,” as the locals call it, blew in raising temperatures in excess of 100 degrees.
Sharma, who came into the limelight with his consistent international performances and his win at the NSW Amateur Championship in 2019, was the top-ranked Indian on the World Amateur Golf Rankings (WAGR-190), leading to his selection for the International squad. When asked about his future plans, Sharma said that he wishes to turn pro in 2020.

Sharma’s recent performances:
Western India Amateur Championship: Winner (November)
Asia Pacific Amateur Championship: Tied-21st (September)
Singapore Amateur Championship: 11th (July)
Karnataka Amateur: 3rd (May)
New South Wales Amateur: Winner (January)

Anand Crowned All India Champion

Aryan Roopa Anand

18-year-old Aryan Roopa Anand of Mysuru won the 119th All India Amateur Golf Championship held from December 9-16 at Eagleton Golf Resort, Bangalore. As many as 50 amateurs, the best on the IGU’s merit list, participated in the coveted event.
The Mysore golfer made it the first-ever double in the 119-year history of the tournament by also winning the stroke-play title with a two-day aggregate of 135 (67-68).
“It feels great to win the prestigious crown, it’s yet to sink in,” Aryan was quoted as saying. “And to become the first golfer to win both the strokeplay and matchplay is the icing on the cake.”
Anand faced Yuvraj Singh in Round 1, Shravan Desai in Pre-Quarter Finals, Faldo Asia Finals U-21 winner Keshav Mishra in Quarter Finals and Aditya Chahal in Semi-Finals before taking on Prakhar Asawa of Rajasthan in the Finals for the title. Anand prevailed over Asawa, after a very close fight, finishing with a 1-UP score after a gruelling 36-hole contest.
Just recently, Aryan won his maiden amateur title at the IGU Gujarat Amateur Championship in November, and Singapore Junior Championship in June.

Bakshi wins California State School Championship

Priya Bakshi

14-year-old student golfer, Priya Bakshi — who represents Palo Alto High School just outside San Francisco — helped her team win the California State School Championship. The six-player team tournament held at Poppy Hills Golf Course, Pebble Beach saw participation from six schools, with Palo Alto finishing on top with their total score of 22-over 377, 8-strokes better than the runner-up finishers Troy at 385. The winning team of Palo Alto High School was represented by Katherine Sung, Lauren Sung, Bridget O’Keefe, Priya Bakshi and Marina Mata, where Priya Bakshi shot 5-over 76 to finish tied-18th. “We were the underdogs going into the tournament,” Bakshi said. “So that made winning feel so much better. Making history at the State Championship was the best way to finish out my high school year. Winning with the team at our last tournament together is a feeling I know I’m never going to forget.”
Priya is the niece of Chandigarh golfer Jaspreet Bakshi, who recently represented India at the Asia Pacific Senior Amateur Championship in
Kuala Lumpur.

Indian juniors shine in Malaysia

9-year-old Kartik Singh, 12-year-old Aarav D Shah, 13-year-old Jujhar Singh, and 16-year-old Arjun Bhati impressed their counterparts in their age categories to finish splendidly at the US Kids World Championship Malaysia from December 16-20.
The event played out at Tanjung Puteri Golf Resort’s Straits Course, Village Course, and Planation Course and saw over 320 juniors tee-off in over 15 different age categories for boys and girls.
Kartik Singh, the youngest Indian in the field, shot level-par score of 219 over three days to finish as the winner in the Boys 9 category at the Village Course.
Aarav D Shah shot rounds of 75, 75, and 73 to clinch the Boys 11-12 title with his total score of 7-over 223, a massive 15 shots over Sze Pak Hin, the eventual runner-up from South Korea.
Jujhar Singh shot 75, 70, and 76 over three days to finish as the runner-up in Boys 13-14 category with his total score of 5-over 221. Arjun Bhati, who has won over 100 junior titles across continents, played his maiden event in the 15-18 category and shot 10-over 226 in three days to finish tied-2nd.

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Anika Victorious in Florida

Anika Varma

15-year-old Anika Varma shot 72, 72, and 75 (219 total) to win the fifth annual 54-hole stroke-play, IMG Academy Junior World Florida Challenge at Sara Bay Country Club, Florida. Varma finished massive seven-strokes ahead of runner-up Anri Sato of Japan. This invite-only event saw more than 200 players from 30 countries competing in Boys 15-18, Girls 15-18, Boys 11-14 and Girls 11-14 divisions.

Anika has had quite a season this year. Some of her solid performances include:
• Second runner-up at the Faldo Series Asia India Championship in January
• 6th finish at the Asia Pacific Team Amateur, while representing India in Australia in March
• 4th at Leg-6 of the Hero Women’s Pro Tour held at Jaypee Greens in March
• Won the Eastern India Ladies Golf Championship at Tollygunge Golf Club, Kolkata in May
• 22nd at IMG Academy Junior World Championship in July
• 17th at the US Girls’ Junior Championship in July
• 5th at the LET’s Hero Women’s Indian Open in October.

Rishika wins 5th Junior title of the year

Rishika Muralidhar

13-year-old Rishika Muralidhar from Bengaluru, emerged victorious at IGU’s Western India Ladies & Junior Girls Golf Championship held at Kalhaar Blues & Greens, Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Rishika shot rounds of 78, 76 & 74 for a total score of 228 to claim the Category B title with four-strokes over Chandigarh golfer Puneet Kaur Bajwa. Rishika finished joint third in categories A & B combined and made this her fifth win of the year, out of the seven events she played in her category.
In the combined category,15-year-old Sneha Singh of Telangana was the winner with scores of 72, 72, 77 for a total of 5-over 221, closely followed by 15-year-old Khusi Hooda of Delhi at 224.

Chugh wins Northern India title

16-year-old Raghav Chugh from Delhi shot rounds of 73, 68,70, and 75 for a total score of 2-under 286 to win the Northern India Junior Boys Championship by seven-strokes over Telangana’s Milind Soni. The event, scheduled at Panchkula Golf Club from November 25-29, saw participation from 88 junior boys in categories A, B, and C where Raghav Chugh topped category A, Milind Soni won in category B and Suhaan Imtiaaz Sheikh of Telangana came out on top in category C. Interestingly, Raghav won both the IGU’s Western India Junior Boys Championship on November 8, and the US Kids – Teen World Championship in North Carolina, USA, in July earlier this year.

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