08 August, 2017: As the Sun set on the KGA course in Bengaluru this Sunday, the lights were shining bright on Indian golf. Victory may have eluded a valiant Khalin Joshi, but the swell of Indian golfers that swept inside the top ten of the Take Solutions Masters underlined India’s emergence as a regional powerhouse in golf. It took a mighty effort by that smiling assassin, Poom Saksansin, to cull a run of Indian winners on home soil.
Poom became the first international since Siddikur Rahman in 2013 to win on Indian soil. Khalin fell short by two painful strokes in the end, after a grueling final round battle for honours. The local lad posted a five under 67 in the final round, but it wasn’t good enough to rein in the Thai golfer.
But as the tournament drew to a close, in the cloud of defeat lay the silver lining for Indian golf. The top ten was littered with aspirant Indian golfers, eager to throw club and bag at the course in the quest for glory.
While Khalin did well to match his career best finish (he was also T2 in Bangladesh in 2015), Ajeetesh Sandhu sparkled in his own right. He was solo third, as he was in the SAIL SBI Open in 2011, with scores of 67 & 66 over the weekend.
Divyanshu Bajaj and Abhinav Lohan put in an impressive Sunday performance too. The duo scored 69 each to gain a share of fourth place.
Honey Baisoya (67) and Rahil Gangjee (68) played well for their spots in T8. Despite no real chance of winning, both golfers played some positive golf to make a fine impression.
Chikkarangappa started the day with a slim chance, but a double bogey on the second hole ruined the start for him. He never quite recovered from there, settling for a tied tenth place finish.
Shiv Kapur, in the joyful throes of imminent fatherhood and fresh off his sojourn to the Open Championship, shot 69 to tie for 20th place.
Indian Open winner SSP Chawrasia played with a stiff neck over the weekend. He shot 74, but his brave efforts under pain served to decorate the event through his sheer presence.
With so many heroes to celebrate and stories to narrate, a few thousand fans filled the KGA meadows to relish in the feast and applaud Indian golf. Bengaluru is known its friendly climes and rampant nurseries.
The Take Solution Masters seemed to borrow from that spirit to underline the bloom of brightness in Indian golf.