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Friday, July 20, 2018

Golf prodigy on the rise

Vasundhara Thiara isn't the one who wears her heart on the sleeve.

Written by Tashi Lundup | Chandigarh | Published: May 3, 2012 3:14:41 am

Vasundhara Thiara isn’t the one who wears her heart on the sleeve. At nine,she is far too young to feel the expectations and the pressure that comes with a high-voltage match. However,even at such a tender age,she knows,and has made a habit,is that winning is in her genes. Sometimes,the momentum shifts back,but like a seasoned golfer she focuses only on the end result.

“She has the temperament for golf. She is never the one who will show her emotions,whether she is losing or winning. She will just put everything behind her and try to finish off things in a better way. Golf is a mental game and those who show their emotions on the field seldom make it big in life,” asserted Tanisha Thiara,her mother.

These are the qualities that define her,and what makes her a stand-out child prodigy. The Number 2 ranking,which she achieved in girl’s Category D in the Indian Golf Union (IGU) Order of Merit for 2011,is merely an indication of greater things to come. Add to that the other distinctions,like being the youngest player in her age category (Under-11), and Vasundhara’s life surely looks on the right track.

Playing three days back-to-back,spending all the energy playing 18 holes and then two more days of practices,travelling thousands of kilometers to play to improve the ranking,to compete with the best players in the business, might be too much for a nine-year-old,but Vasundhara is in a different league altogether.

“Last year I played almost nine out of the 11 tournaments across all parts of India. Sometimes it gets hectic but it is the love for the game that I forget everything else,” Vasundhara said.

Golden memories

Her dedication and love for the game brought her the Number 2 ranking and also the first positions in all the CGA junior tournaments. And not to forget the five gold medals that she won in all the five US Kids tournament,that too with the best score of 3 under par,has surely made her a strong contender for the US Kids World Cup to be played in Pinehurts,California,USA,in the end of July or early August later this year.

“2011 was a very fruitful year for me. I played better than previous years and I have lots of good memories from the tournaments to carry with me in the forthcoming competitions. I played a number of tournaments with very low scores or under par. I am just trying to focus on reducing strokes on each round. Also,I am getting scores like 2-over,1-over which is what the winners in US come up with. So,I am quite confident of qualifying for the World Cup ,” Vasundhara, a student of Vivek High School,said.

One of such good memories which she will remember fondly,or rather take inspiration from,in the coming tournaments is the USHA Delhi ladies and Junior Girls Amateur tournament held in Noida recently,where she finished second despite not getting a good start.

“I was not swinging the club well on the first day and finished second in my category on Day One. However,then I worked on my swing with my coach,Jesse Grewal,and everything turned out well. I had the second best score on the second day and the best score on the last day. In fact,on the last day of the play,I got into as many as 10 bunkers and yet managed to come up with the best score of the day in my category. It was amazing,” she said.

Having a seasoned coach like Jesse Grewal with whom she spends close to one hour twice a week to polish her skills,and a top sports psychologist like Irina Singh,have its advantages.

Her recent performance,first position in the 5th US Kids Golf Tour on the Golden Greens,Gurgaon,in the last week of April this year,marked the culmination of one perfect year,starting from the first position that she achieved in the 1st CGA Juniors Golf Tournament held at the Shivalika Golf Course in Chandigarh in April last year. “Right now I am concentrating on playing 18 holes regularly,building my stamina and playing consistently for three days,” signed off Vasundhara.

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