Harjai Milkha wins title, Cheema and Mahreen finish second in US Kids Europeans

Edinburgh, Jun 2 (PTI) India’s Harjai Milkha Singh won the top honours in the boys 13 category at the US Kids Golf European Championships here.

The 13-year-old son of Jeev Milkha Singh, Harjai shot a final round of three-under 69 in an action-packed round that began with two birdies and ended with two bogeys. With seven birdies against four bogeys, Harjai beat his closest opponent by two shots.

Harjai’s win at the Royal Musselburgh Golf Club capped a great week for the Indian squad, which saw another Chandigarh lad, Nihal Cheema finish second in boys Under-7 at Longniddry Golf Club.

Gurgaon golfer Mahreen Bhatia closed with an eagle to finish second in girls 13-14 category.

Bengaluru’s Adit Veeramachaneni finished fourth in boys 9 category, while Vihaan Jain was tied-fifth in boys 13 and Arshvant Srivastava finish seventh in the same section rose with three-under 69.

Ananyaa Sood was fifth in girls 12 and Naina Kapoor was tied-eighth among girls 11 category.

Of the 16 Indians who teed up during the week at five famous Scottish golf courses, eight players finished in top-8 or better. All three Indian girls were in top-10, The toast of the Indian contingent was Harjai, whose father, Jeev won the iconic Scottish Open in 2012.

It was in the UK in 1958 that Harjai’s grandfather, the late Milkha Singh, won India’s first-ever athletics gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in Cardiff, Wales. Harjai’s father, Jeev is a multiple winner on European, Japan and Asia Tours.

After turning 50 last year, Jeev now plays on the Seniors Tours in Europe, Japan and occasionally in the US.

After rounds of 72-70 on the first two days, Harjai opened with a pair of birdies on the first two holes in the final round. He bogeyed the third, birdied the fifth and then bogeyed seventh and birdied eighth as he turned in two-under.

His closest rival Jordan Botha, who started the final day two shots behind, was three behind with the final nine to go.

Both Harjai and Botha picked up momentum on the back nine.

Harjai birdied 12th, 13th, and 16th to go five-under for the day. Botha responded with birdies on 13-14-15 to get to two-under but the gap was five shots with two holes to play.

The Indian youngster wobbled with a bogey-bogey finish and Botha managed a birdie on 17 but the winning margin for Harjai was still a handy two shots.

Cheema starting the final day two shots behind Thailand-based Sean Wilding remained two behind as both players shot three-over 39 in the final nine round for the Under-7 category.

Cheema, unable to find any birdie on the last day, finished sole second.

Mahreen, who shared the first round lead, had four birdies and three bogeys in the first 14 holes.

After three more pars, she closed in style with an eagle in Par-5 18th to finish second behind American Amy Burton, who totalled nine-under 207.

Source: PTI News


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