March 12, 2018: Khsitij Naveed Kaul made a giant leap this week. It is easy to miss his result at the Hero Indian Open. He was tied 32nd at 5-over 293. But that would be missing the trees for the woods. Kshitij started and ended the week with a brilliant 70, on a course where far more accomplished men struggled to find their feet.
Even then, the young amateur, the best this past week in the Hero Indian Open has his feet firmly on the ground. In this interview with the Golfing Indian, Kshitij speaks about his experience, aspirations and the source of his inspiration.
Congrats on a wonderful week. How did it feel playing in the event and mixing it up with the big guns on the European Tour?
Thank you. It felt amazing playing in the event, I was very happy to share the same range with best players. In terms of playing it felt the same as I was trying to give my best as l would have given in any other tournament.
What was your reading of the course? The 70 on the final day was an epic effort – there were only eleven men who went under par on Sunday?
The course was in excellent condition, I felt the main thing in this course was the drives and approach shots, if you can place it correctly you can score well and if you’re not then the course will bring you to your knees.
I was not thinking of my score while playing on Sunday, I just wanted to hit good shots and leave the rest to God, it turned out pretty well.
What are the lessons you take from this week and how do you build on this for the rest of the season?
This week taught me where I stand among the best in the world and I still need to work hard to get there. Fitter body and stronger mind are going to be my focus, going forward.
Did you have any interesting conversations with some of the pros this week?
It was fun playing with Viraj first two days. I always looked up to him as a junior and still do, He is like a big brother always guiding and inspiring.
Khalin, Shubhankar also taught me few things which definitely are going to be a big help in future.
When do you expect to turn professional?
Right now I am enjoying my golf, when my game is ready to dominate on the professional tour I will turn professional. As of now, I am looking at the upcoming Asian Games and the Youth Olympics.