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Karandeep eyes a successful Asian Tour

Karandeep eyes a successful Asian Tour

Karandeep Kochhar



Tribune News Service

Deepankar Sharda

Chandigarh, October 14

India’s former No. 1 junior golfer Karandeep Kochhar thinks of nothing other than playing golf and watching old videos of his favourites — American golfer and former World No. 1 Jordan Spieth and Indian golfing legend Jeev Milkha Singh.

The 24-year-old golfer, who aims to fit into the shoes of Jeev, recently played consistent rounds of 68-71-71-71 (for a total of 7-under) at the International Series Singapore played at the Tanah Merah Country Club to finish a credible tied-19th. The result helped him move up in the Asian Tour and claim the 58th spot in the Order of Merit for this year. The 65 players get a full card for the tour next year. Other Indian golfers in contention to break into the full card list were Veer Ahlawat (T-51th) and Viraj Maddapa (T-59th). With five more matches to go, starting this week in Macau (followed by one each in China, Hong Kong and Indonesia), Kochhar still has enough left to display his best performance.

“In the coming month, I will be participating in the China Open at Hidden Green Golf Club, Shenzhen. Unfortunately, I will be missing the Jeev Milkha Singh Invitational Tournament at my home club. The China Open will be eighth leg of the international series — 10 top-tier events sanctioned by the Asian Tour. It will be followed by the Hong Kong Open and with the Indonesian Masters,” said Kochhar.

When asked about the reason for skipping his favourite tournament, he said, “It’s a tough decision, but considering the exposure, I opted to continue with the Asian Tour. The China Open carries a prize purse of US$ 1.5 million and will be a place to perform,” said Kochhar, who had won the 2020 edition of the Jeev Milkha Singh Invitational. Kochhar has been on a constant rise since 2016. At 17, he became the youngest in India and the lone amateur to win a PGTI event by winning the PGTI Players Championship at the Tollygunge Club.

He is currently ranked 58th in the Asian Tour Order of Merit with a total of 259.09 points — behind the likes of Indian golfers Anirban Lahiri, Chikkarangappa S, Gaganjeet Bhullar and Rashid Khan. He was also a double gold medalist for Chandigarh at the 2022 National Games, in which he secured gold in individual and team events.

“The upcoming events are really important for me. Till last week, I was placed 824th in the Official World Golf Rankings. My standing has risen to the 803rd spot. Playing in the Asian Tour is really different and challenging. I am just keeping my fingers crossed to get the desired result at the end of the season,” added Kochhar.

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