In the early 2000s,when he first arrived in Chandigarh,a young Harendra Gupta began to earn a living as a caddy at the Chandigarh Golf Club. Soon,however,the man from Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh picked up the nuances of the game and began playing golf in 2004. Harendra won his first title at the Chandigarh Golf Club in the same year.
On Saturday,with victory at the Mumbai Crompton Greaves Open in Mumbai,the 27-year-old golfer not only carved out the biggest win of his career but also pocketed Rs 16 lakh,the biggest prize money of his career. When I came to Chandigarh in the early 2000s,I had nothing to do. Someone told me that I should work as a caddy to earn some money. And I worked as a caddy for more than five years. Todays win is the biggest win of my career. I was leading on the first two days and slipped to third place in the third round. The play-off against Rashid Khan was a tough one and I feel lucky to win the title. From being a caddy to being a CG Open winner means a lot to a golfer like me, shared Gupta,who carded 13-under-267 to tie with Khan before winning the play-off.
Hailing from a farming family in Gorakhpur,Gupta has so far won six titles,with two wins at the Chandigarh Golf Club. The golfer will play at the BILT Open before he heads for the Indian Open to share stage with the likes of Anirbhan Lahiri and Gaganjeet Bhullar,later this month.
A resident of Nayagaon village,Gupta wants to continue the winning run and aims to follow in the footsteps of idols Jeev Milkha Singh and Jyoti Randhawa and play in the Asian Tour.
The prize money is huge for me. I plan to buy some land for my family in my village and also want to make some investment. I am aiming to play in the Asian Tour and I need to play more and register more wins to manage my travel expenses. Playing along with my role model Jeev Milkha Singh will be a huge motivating thing for me. He cheers all of us, Gupta said while speaking over telephone from Mumbai. As for caddying,the golfer says that he enjoys it at times. Argentine footballer Carlos Tavez recently caddied for his countryman Andres Romero. I understood the game more when I was a caddy. When I visit Chandigarh,I carry my golf bag sometimes, he adds.