Strong and young Indian team for golf in 2018 Asian Games
India will be fielding a young but strong golf team at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia this August. The four-member boys team and three-member girls team was chosen after a gruelling six-round trial that concluded on Monday.
All the contenders were required to play six rounds in the trials conducted by the Indian Golf Union. Two of the rounds were held at the ITC Classic Golf Resort and four rounds were played at the Jaypee Greens. After six rounds, the best five were taken into account and the results were declared.
Sifat Sagoo, Ridhima Dilawari and Diksha Dagar were top three among girls, while Kshitij Naved Kaul, Aadil Bedi and Harimohan Singh were the top three among boys. World No. 17, Rayhan Thomas, whose achievements include a win in a pro tournament, while being an amateur, was given a discretionary spot on the basis of world rankings.
Sifat Sagoo, the youngest qualifier among girls, shared the top spot with Ridhima Dilawari. Both totaled 351 for their best five rounds. Diksha Dagar, who was favoured to top, ended third, four shots behind Sifat and Ridhima.
Sifat who will turn 17 later this month was the most consistent among the girls, with four under-par rounds and one even par round. Her best five counting scores were 71-69-72-68-71 and the score left out was 74 on second day. Ridhima had three under-par rounds besides another par round, while her discarded round was one of two 73s she shot. Ridhima’s best five rounds were 71-73-67-68-72 for 351. Diksha’s best five were 71-74-72-70-68 for a total of 355.
Among the boys Kshitij Naved Kaul, who was the low amateur at the Hero Indian Open earlier this year, emerged as the topper with a total of 354 for his best five rounds and it included a stunning 8-under 64 in second round at the highly demanded Classic Golf Resort. He was followed by Aadil Bedi (356), whose best round was 67 in the fourth round at Jaypee. The third spot went to Harimohan Singh, who recovered well from his start of 79 in the first round and totaled 357 for the next five rounds and had an excellent 69-70 for the last two rounds.
India’s track record in Asian Games golf is fairly good. In 1982 when golf was introduced at the Asian Games, Lakshman Singh and Rajiv Mohta won gold and silver and the Indian team won the gold. Shiv Kapur won the individual gold in 2002. In 2006 (Anirban Lahiri, Gaganjeet Bhullar, Chiragh Kumar and Joseph Chakola) and 2010 (Rashid Khan, Rahul Bajaj, Abhinav Lohan and Abhijit Chadha) won the team silver for boys.