Top juniors for IGU Southern India Junior golf

Junior GolfBangalore: After a successful northern run of the Toyota-IGU Junior National Tour in Gurgaon, the southern edition of the tour will be held at the par-72 Karnataka Golf Association (KGA) course here from May 28 to June 1.

The Junior tour has been split into two age categories, Under-18 (Category A) and Under-14, and will have a field of nearly 100 players.

The Toyota-IGU Southern India Juniors is the second of the seven tournaments on the tour, inclusive of four zonal tournaments and the season ending National Championship.

While last year's champion and local boy S Chikkarangappa has graduated beyond junior ranks, the competition in Category A will be led by DLF Golf and Country Club's 17-year old sensation Manu Gandas who is aiming for a hat-trick after his recent wins in the Haryana Juniors and Rajasthan Junior Open championships.

"It's a great high to have won two junior events I have played in this season, and I am excited that my game is really picking up! I hope I can continue my winning spree at the Southern India Juniors," said the Haryana-based Gandas.

Highly rated Honey Baisoya (Delhi Golf Club), who lost the Haryana Juniors title to Gandas by a single stroke, will be looking to step up his game in search of his first title of the 2012 season.

Last year's runner-up Trishul Chinnappa and Toyota IGU Player of the Year, Sayed Saqib Ahmed, are also transitioning into the senior circuit, leaving the field open for Shubankar Sharma, winner of the Toyota Etios Eastern India Junior tournament in 2011, and Abhishek Kuhar, a top-10 finisher in the Rajasthan event.

In Category B, Prakhar Asawa from Rambagh Golf Club, Jaipur whose match-winning performance in Rajasthan two weeks ago is still a fresh memory in the community, will be up against Piyush Sangwan (DLF Golf and Country Club), Viraj Madappa (Tollygunge Golf Club) and Feroz Garewal (Chandigarh Golf Club).

"We feel a sense of satisfaction in promoting the series of national junior tournaments with the Indian Golf Union as these budding golfers are future of our country and are role models of the sport and sportsmanship during these tournaments.

"The future of golf in India is bright and we feel immensely proud to be a part of it," said Sandeep Singh, deputy managing director, sales and marketing, Toyota Kirloskar Motors Pvt Ltd whose company continues its commitment to the sport as Title sponsors of the Junior Tour for the third consecutive year.

Rishi Narain, an Asian Games gold medallist and managing director of RNGM, said: "The Toyota IGU Junior Tour is always the most competitive as it's on par with all international pro junior tournaments with the winner being decided over four rounds of 18 holes each.

"Also, the points earned on the IGU tour determine national ranking which secures spots for these young golfers in international events such as the Duke of York Tournament and the Malaysia Junior Open. So we are guaranteed some extremely stiff competition and exciting play."

With practice rounds commencing Monday, as a preview to the tournament, the junior golfers will participate in a Golf Clinic to be conducted by the Arjuna Awardee Harmeet Kahlon at the KGA. (IANS)