CHANDIGARH GOLFER Aadil Bedi became the youngest player to make the cut for the Indian golf team on Monday for the Asian Games to be held in Indonesia later this year. The 17-year-old Bedi, who was number one on the Indian Golf Union merit list, bagged the spot for the Asian Games by finishing second in the six-day trials for the Asian Games held in Gurgaon and Noida. Bedi, who had won the title in the World Star of Junior Golf in Las Vegas, USA, last year, will be joined by Kshitij Navid Kaul and Hari Mohan Singh apart from a fourth golfer, which will be decided by IGU later. Monday’s selection also means that Bedi would represent India along with Kaul in the World Amateur Team Championship for the Eisenhower Trophy to be played in Ireland in August.
“Playing in the Asian Games is a dream for every amateur golfer and it will be a dream come true for me. The trials were for six days and were played over two courses, which made the task tougher for me. Two of the 15 golfers withdrew from the trials midway after dehydration. My fourth round score of 67 at Jaypee Greens Golf Course helped my confidence. I remember reading about Chandigarh golfers Hameet Kahlon and Abhijit Chadha playing in Asian Games and I am eager to don the Indian blazer for the Asian Games,” said Bedi who shot an overall score of four-under-par in the six-round trials.
The last one year has seen Bedi winning one title in the form of the Eastern Indian Amateur Championship in Mumbai apart from two second-place finishes in the IGU Haryana Amateur Championships and IGU Telangana Amatuer Golf Championships apart from four top-five finishes. Bedi, who started playing golf at the age of four, also won the Amateur Golf Championship in Singapore last year. The youngster trains under coach Jesse Grewal apart from four-time European tour winner Bob Byman.
“Competing in countries like USA and Singapore has helped my game. This spot in the trials will also mean I will play in the Eisenhower Trophy four days after the conclusion of Asian Games. Before the Asian Games, I will play in the Malaysian Amateur Championships apart from The British Amateur Championships. I have played in Indonesia before and tackling the hot weather conditions will be a challenge,” said Bedi, a student of Vivek High School.
Golf was introduced in the 1982 New Delhi Asian Games and only three golfers, including Shiv Kapur, have won medals in individual categories while three Indian teams have won medals in the team category so far with Chandigarh golfer Abhijit Chadha being a part of the silver-medal winning team in the 2010 Asiad. “I think it will be encouraging for Aadil to compete in the Asian Games at this young age. He has been performing well and wearing the Indian blazer will act as a great motivation for him prior to his professional career. The golf courses in Indonesia are well laid but heat and humidity will play a huge factor and Aadil will need to adjust to the conditions,” shared Chandigarh golfer Harmeet Kahlon, who represented India in the 1994 and 1998 Asian Games.