The brand new 2021 season of the US Kids Golf India North Tour got underway with a series of closely contested events at the iconic Classic Golf and Country Club on Thursday. This was the first leg in which all the winners on the basis of their finish and scores will get Priority points which help them qualify for US Kids Golf international events in Europe and the United States.
With almost 60 young stars across various age groups teeing off early in the morning there was a lot of enthusiasm with players and their parents descending onto the Jack Nicklaus ITC Classic Golf and Country Club. Two of the most keenly fought contests in the highly popular event took place in the Boys Under-10 and Boys Under 12.
In the Boys Under-12, Arshvant Srivastava, who had topped the season’s standing in 2019 in Boys Under-10, when the last full season was held, got off to a great start in the new season. He, however, had to go through the play-off against Kanav Chauhan after both were tied at the top with cards of 5-over 77 each.
In Boys Under-10 Chaitanya Pandey beat Siddaan Chibber in the play-off after both were tied with scores 4-over 76. In the play-off Chaitanya got the better of Dubai-based Siddhaan.
Amit Dube, former India international, and now a coach, and Tournament Director for US Kids Golf India, said, “The most impressive thing about these youngsters was that they kept to the pace of play. This is most crucial as they grow in the game. Play well and don’t hold up with slow play is what we are teaching them. They did a great job.” His wards Vihaan Malhotra (Boys 13-14) and Arshvant Srivastava (Boys Under 12) were among the winners.
Rajesh Srivastava, President, US Kids Golf India, added, “We are soon going to announce a scheme that will help these youngsters get more time on the course at the world-class ITC Classic Golf and Country Club. These kids are the future of Indian golf and their show in the first event was exemplary in terms of performance and on-course etiquette.”
The day’s biggest cheers were reserved for the winner in the Girls Under 8 section, where the tiny Gurugram golfer Annika Chendira, who enjoys sharing her name with the legendary Annika Sorenstam, beat her nearest rival Kiara Yadav by a margin of six shots. Annika Chendira carded 7-over 43 for her nine holes.
Equally impressive was Kabir Goyal, who won the Boys Under 6 division, where he shot 3-over for the nine-hole competition. The three youngest divisions Boys Under 6, Boys Under 7 and Girls Under 8 were contested over nine holes. The winners in many of the events were decided by a margin of just one or two shots and two were decided in a play-off.
The second event of the eight-event US Kids Golf India North Tour will be held on Friday.