Ankur Chadha’s eagerness to visit the Army Golf Course was not to watch his father and elder brother play golf. It was the attraction of the “ducks and rabbits” that drew the five-year-old to the scenic venue in Dhaula Kuan. Despite the lure, the mind lay elsewhere and Ankur resisted his elders’ attempts to sweet-talk him into playing the sport. “I did knock balls for a week but gave it up as soccer was my first love,” he said.
Ankur may have stood firm but visits to the course ensured that cracks appeared in his resistance and by the time he was eight, golf was a lifeline for the Colonel’s son.
Ankur has grown to take pride in his choice and at 15, is one of the brightest juniors on the Indian Golf Union (IGU) circuit. On Friday, he added another high note to his resume by winning among the big boys, read Category A (15-17 years), in the Albatross International Junior Championship. The five-over 221 may not be pleasing to the ear but Ankur accepted the three-stroke victory with cupped hands.
“It’s been an up and down season, so it’s a huge boost before next month’s All-India Junior Championship (on the IGU circuit) at Pune,” he said.
The form may not be up there but Ankur has had his share of glory and he fondly recalled the back-to-back triumphs at Panchkula and the Delhi Golf Club (DGC) in June. However, closest to the heart is the finish in the LG Northern India Amateur at DGC.
“It was my first amateur event and finishing second to Rashid Khan was special,” he said while looking up to admire the fireworks that converged from four directions to light up the evening sky.
The much-feted duo of Korntawach Julamool, 14, and Puwit Anupansoebsai, 10, ensured Thailand ran away with the top honours in Category B (13-14 years) and D (8-10 years) respectively. Of note, was the latter’s margin of victory — an astounding 24 shots!