Young guns Bedi, Kaul and Sandhu turn pro at Panasonic Open India
New Delhi, October 24: Within weeks of doing duty for the National team at some of the top amateur events around the world, young guns Aadil Bedi, 17; Kshitij Naveed Kaul, 17 and Yuvraj Sandhu, 21, have chosen the Panasonic Open India as the platform to take the plunge into the world of professional golf.
They follow in the footsteps of the 20-year-old Viraj Madappa, who in August won the Take Solutions Masters in his Rookie Year to become the youngest Indian ever to win on the Asian Tour. Two weeks before that he was T-14 at Royal Cup, where Shiv Kapur was T-2. Three weeks ago in the first week of October, Madappa finished T-4 at Yeangder TPC to show that India’s next crop of youngsters are ready to take off.
Aadil Bedi turned up for India at the Asiad and Eisenhower Cup, while Sandhu featured for India at the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championships.
Bedi, one of the most prodigiously talented amateurs in the country, finished T-14 at the Louis Philippe Cup on the Asian Development Tour and finished T-23 at the Take Solution Masters. Both events were held in Bengaluru in August.
Kaul, who played in the Asian Games in Jakarta, the Eisenhower World Amateur Team Championships in Northern Ireland and the Asia-Pacific Amateurs in Singapore, signalled his arrival as a 15-year-old when he reached the final of the All India Amateurs in December 2015. This year Kaul was the low amateur at the Asian and European Tour event, the Hero Indian Open in March and finished T-32 overall.
Sandhu finished fourth at Jaipur, while still being an amateur in the first week of September and a week later he again made the cut at the QA Infotech Open. Both events were on the India PGTI pro tour.
Kaul, a former All India Amateur finalist, will be getting his first taste of pro golf on Thursday.
Bedi, who is supported by the Virat Kohli Foundation, and has also found some sponsors, feels he is ready for the rigours of pro golf, while Kaul felt that despite his age is he ‘ready’ for the challenge.
Kaul said, “I am very excited to play my first event as a professional on my home course this week. It’s very nice and I feel good because I am playing well now. I have played a few times with Shiv Kapur and it’s nice.
“The Delhi Golf Club is my home club so I hope I can take advantage of my course knowledge this week. I hope to do the same like what I have been doing before although I am playing in my first event as a professional this week.”
“I would like to thank Panasonic, PGTI and the Asian Tour for giving me this opportunity to play in my first event as a professional and on my home course this week. I am looking forward to the week and hopefully I can put up a good showing.”
Sandhu, who had a good start in pro company at the Jaipur Open, said, “Even as an amateur I felt comfortable in Jaipur and making the cuts at Jaipur and NOIDA boosted my confidence and I feel I have it in me to play at this level.”
Kshitij will be the first of the three to go off in the morning as he plays with Australia’s Maverick Antcliff and Sri Lankan N Thangaraja at 7.45 am in the morning.
At 11.40 am, Aadil Bedi paired with Panuphol Pittyarat of Thailand and South African Jbe Kruger will tee off, and an hour later, Sandhu goes out with Javier Gallegos of Spain and Shakhawat Sohel of Bangladesh.