March 9, 2020 1:26:01 pm
Last Friday, as 24-year-old golfer Sunny held the trophy after winning the Indian Golf Union (IGU) Samarvir Sahi Golf Championship at Chandigarh Golf Club, the caddie-turned-golfer was greeted by fellow golfers and club members. Sunny, who started caddying at the golf course in 2008, lost five members of his family, including his parents, elder brother and five-year-old nephew Hrithik in a car accident in 2017. As Sunny won his first IGU amateur title of his career, he sought the blessings of the senior members of the club apart from the golfers and also dedicated the win to his parents and other members of his family.
“I still remember my first visit to the Chandigarh Golf Club in 2008 with a friend. I was fascinated by the sport. I took up the role of a caddie at the club and would make two-three golfers play the 18 holes in a day. I used to earn Rs 60 per member and would practise in our village park with a club and ball. I started playing golf four years ago with the support of Chandigarh Golf Club and some of the members. In 2017, when my parents apart from my elder brother and his five-year-old son died in a car accident near Mansa, it was a big loss for me but playing golf took my mind away from the loss. Winning my first IGU title at my home club means a lot for me and I dedicate this win to my parents, elder brother and my nephew,” said Sunny whose father Pratap Singh worked as a peon with the Chandigarh Administration.
Native of Kansal village, Sunny would also occasionally play in junior tournaments at the Chandigarh Golf Club while working as a caddie at the club. But it was not until 2016 that the youngster started to play the sport full-time. The last four years have also seen Sunny caddying for golf coach Jesse Grewal and senior members apart from playing on the IGU circuit. Last year, Sunny finished 40th in the IGU Order of Merit with a total of 34 points with his best finish being ninth-place in the IGU Southern India Amateur Championships played at Bengaluru. The youngster also played in the second edition of Jeev Milkha Singh Invitational presented by Take Solutions at Chandigarh Golf Club last year and missed the cut by two strokes. Incidentally, Sunny had caddied for professional golfer Digvijay Singh during the first edition of the tournament in 2018. “Caddying for a coach like Jesse Grewal sir has helped my game a lot. Apart from observing his game, I also seek tips from him during the 18-holes. Members like Gurbaaz Mann too have helped me with tips and providing all the support. In the first edition of Jeev Milkha Singh Invitational, I caddied for Digvijay Singh and watching professionals like Shiv Kapur and Jeev Milkha Singh sir helped me a lot. Last year, I missed the cut by just two strokes but Jeev Milkha Singh sir told me later that I played well and such things happen. Getting such a compliment from a golfer like Jeev sir meant a lot to me. In the past, players like Anirban Lahiri have won Samarvir Sahi Golf Championship and I want to emulate them,” said Sunny.
Spending time at the Chandigarh Golf Club as a caddie and now player has also helped Sunny understand the conditions at the club in a better way and the golfer showed it in the four rounds of IGU Samarvir Sahi Golf Championship. With the last three rounds happening amid rain and windy conditions, Sunny kept his cool to win the title by a score of six-over-294. Sunny will now play in the IGU Delhi NCR Cup later this month before playing in Hyderabad in May followed by other IGU tournaments. The golfer is also planning to turn professional next year. “Spending more than 10-12 hours on the course daily taught me a lot. I would also talk with caddie-turned players like Harendra Gupta and Akshay Sharma and they shared a lot of tips with me apart from helping with equipment. I rate hole 7 and hole 15 as the trickiest holes on this course. This week, the conditions were tough at the course with rain and winds and keeping the ball in the fairways was the challenge. I will be playing in NCR Cup before I take a small break in April. My aim is to win as many tournaments as I can on IGU circuit before I plan to play in PGTI Q School next year,” Sunny said.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.