On Friday,Vasundhara Thiara (9),fresh from her victory in Category D in the USHA Southern India Golf Tournament at Bengaluru,was once again walking across the green flopping the ball into the hole at the Eagles Golf Course at Bolarum in Secunderabad.
The tinge of excitement in her voice was,as expected,to do with the victory on the KGA Golf Course,considered one of the toughtest golf courses in India,as the trophy had come after she had finished runners-up in the USHA Delhi Ladies and Junior Girls Amateur tournament held at the Noida Golf Course almost two months ago. Vasundhara topped the Category D at 273,two shots ahead of Tanishka Kumar (90) who finished runners-up at 275.
Just a week before that,in the US Kids World Championship qualifiers held on June 3,she returned with a score of 37 and garnered 30 points in the Girls 9 Years age category to mark her entry in the US Kids World Golf Championship,to be held at Pinehurst Resort in Pinehurst,North Carolina,in the first week of August.
The conditions were dry and it was tough to play in trying conditions. Also,KGA is one of the toughest courses in India and it was really satisfying to beat other girls older than me. Since the next IGU tournament is in September,I wanted to prepare well for the US Kids World Golf Championship because that really is a big tournament for me,” Vasundhara,the youngest in her category,told Newsline.
In the last one year,after collecting five gold medals in US Kids tournaments and earning the Number Two ranking in IGU Merit,the one area in which Vasundhara,according to her mother Tanisha,has really shown improvement is keeping her nerves in high pressure situations. “I am more suprised than satisfied with her performance. She was playing better than those girls in categories above her. After taking lead on Day One,everything had come down to one stroke and the elder girls were breathing down her neck. The last nine holes were like a high-octane cricket match. It went hole by hole and it became a mind game after that,” recalled Tanisha.
Mind games for a nine year old might be too much,but not for Vasundhara as the sessions she had with Irina Singh,the top sports psychologist,worked its magic.
The birdie that she sunk on the tenth hole,and overall two birdies she had in the match,changed the course of the match and Vasundhara made sure she stayed in the lead. In the end,she had advantage of two stroke margin,enough to leave Tanishka Kumar behind at the second spot.
After the tournament at Secunderabad,Vasundhara,a student of Vivek High School,will return to Chandigarh to train with her coach,Jesse Grewal,to prepare her for the US Kids World Championship.