Rewind: When 17-year-old Karandeep Kochhar became the youngest player and first Indian amateur to win on PGTI
Kochhar wreaked havoc with a final round 62 to win by three shots
The final day of the 2016 PGTI Players Championship presented by Tollygunge Club turned out to be one of the most memorable days in 17-year-old amateur Karandeep Kochhar’s fledgling golfing career. The Chandigarh lad wreaked havoc on the final day, shooting an eight-under-62, the best round of the tournament, to upset some of the top professionals in the country en route his three-shot triumph at the Rs. 30 lakh event.
Karandeep (66-68-62), who totaled 14-under-196 in the three-round event, became the youngest player to win on the PGTI at age 17 years and five months. He thus broke the previous record held by Shubhankar Sharma who won in Kochi in 2014 at the age of 17 years and eight months.
The six-foot tall class 12th student Kochhar set another record by becoming the first Indian amateur to win an event on the PGTI. Bangladesh’s Md Zamal Hossain Mollah is the only other player to have won on the PGTI as an amateur. He achieved the feat at the City Bank – Dhaka Bank Bangladesh Open 2009 played at the Kurmitola Golf Club in Dhaka.
Om Prakash Chouhan of Mhow, Madhya Pradesh, claimed the runner-up spot at Tolly at 11-under-199 after his final round of six-under-64. Chouhan, however, took home the cheque of Rs. 4,50,000 for the best performance by a professional.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling to win despite such a strong field of professionals here this week. This does wonders to my confidence and self-belief. It’s set me thinking about the right time to turn professional. I have to discuss it with my family back home whether it should be this year or next year,” said an excited Karandeep, whose only previous appearance in a professional event was at the PGTI’s Kolkata Classic earlier in the year, where he missed the cut.
He added, “The win in the junior event at Tollygunge last week gave me a good feel of the conditions here and helped me raise my game this week. However, I would not have played this event had it not been for my friend and fellow golfer Rohan Kathuria. Rohan almost forced me to enter this event after my win last week. Shubhankar Sharma, who recently moved to Panchkula, also gave me the confidence to play in professional events when I spoke to him back in Chandigarh.”
Interestingly, Karandeep went on to inscribe “Singh 62” at the back of his cap as a reminder of his memorable final round of 62 at Tollygunge Club.
Formed in 2006, Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) is the recognised official body of professional golf in India. PGTI's objective is to promote professional golf in the country, as well as to give players an opportunity to be involved in the decision making on all aspects of the game. Headed by Mr. Gautam Thapar (President), PGTI's governing body comprises leading Indian golf professionals. PGTI currently has over 300 members.
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