BENGALURU: Who says they don’t catch them young in India? If so, could nine-year-old Rishika M have won a golf tournament in Malaysia?
Participating in the Kids Golf World Championship, Malaysia, at the Allamanda Course, Johor Bahru, Rishika emerged triumphant in the girls’ under-9 category last week.
Boys and girls from India, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Thailand, Philippines, France, Canada, Vietnam, South Africa, Indonesia, Great Britain, Ireland, Australia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Mexico were divided into 15 groups, eight for boys and seven for girls.
Rishika bagged the championship with a lead of 10 strokes. She was the only Indian to be crowned champion from across all the groups.
Rishika, a 4th standard student of the National Hill View Public School, Rajarajeshwarinagar, was among a total of 250 budding golfers and provided an excellent opportunity for them to compete and earn world amateur ranking points.
Rishika played nine holes a day for three days, with a total of 27 holes being played out. On Day 1, she was in the second position, a single stroke behind the leader. With her amazing game on the second day, she moved to the top of the table with a lead of seven strokes.
On the final day, she retained the top spot with a lead of 10 strokes. She had six birdies in three days, with scores of 39, 36 and 29 for a winning total of 116. Paweekorm of Thailand was second with 126.
Rishika began her golf career only last year and had played in a couple of South Zone golf tournaments for youngsters. She trains at the Eagleton Golf Academy under the tutelage of Vijay Divecha and Abdul Raheem K H. With girls swarming al over golf courses in the country, emerging forces like Rishika are bound to be watched with more than usual interest. The Smriti Mehras and Sharmila Nicollettes will have to watch out, for younger champions in the making are on the prowl on the greens.