Teenage golfer Avani Prashanth qualifies for Asian Games golf

Watched by her family at the Karnataka Golf Association in Bengaluru, 15-year-old golfer Avani Prashanth has qualified for this year’s Asian Games in Hangzhou after dominating trials on Saturday.

The Bengaluru golfer, who finished tied for 21st at the Augusta National Women’s Amateur as the first Indian to compete in Augusta’s iconic event, sealed the only tryout spot in the women’s section. The teenage amateur will join pros Aditi Ashok and Tvesa Malik – both secured direct berths based on their world rankings – for the Games scheduled for September.

With scores from four best rounds considered among the five overall, Avani (74-64-69-70-71) kept her cool in the final round with a 1-under 71 to finish at 14- under 274. Jahanvi Bakshi ( 69-69-69-69-70) finished second at 12-under 276. Avani produced a hometown treat in the second round on Wednesday, shooting an 8-under 64 to join Bakshi in the lead. This score, according to his father MS Prashanth, is the best of his fledgling career.

“It’s really satisfying, a fantastic performance from him to come under 14,” Prashanth said from Bengaluru. “Last time she played a four day tournament six months ago her score was 5 under. So it was amazing how she fought. I owe her all the credit for keeping her composure until the end and not to have lost her way.

The Class 9 student from Greenwood High International School in Bengaluru had singled out the Asian Games as a key goal for 2022. “This year I want to get into the top 75 in the rankings and win gold for India at the Games Asians,” Avani said. said this newspaper after his trip to Augusta.

For the first time, the Asian Games will also feature professionals and the Indian Golf Union has opened the events for amateurs and professionals. In the men’s section, 16 competed for two places while 11 women chased a place in the five-day trials.

Avani (111th in the world amateur golf ranking) is the only Indian amateur to qualify for Hangzhou. “The Asian Games will be a great experience for Avani,” Prashanth said. “One, she’s young, and two, she’s going to compete with some of the best Asian golfers and the future best in Asia. So it’s an incredible opportunity and she will support herself to do well there.

Madappa and Rashid clinch men’s spots

On the men’s side, Viraj Madappa and Rashid Khan qualified after practice and will be joined by Anirban Lahiri and Shubhankar Sharma, who both secured direct places. Madappa (66-68-71-69-67) totaled 18-under 270 of his best four rounds while Khan (68-73-67-66-71) totaled 16-under 272 of his best four.

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