Looking Back: Yuvraj Singh Sandhu's 2020-21 PGTI Season

Looking Back: Yuvraj Singh Sandhu

Yuvraj Singh Sandhu hailing from Chandigarh is one of the most promising Indian golfers in recent times.
 
The former India no. 1 has played numerous international events during his amateur career like the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship, an event he played three times from 2016-2018.

Right after returning from his last Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship event in Singapore, Yuvraj turned pro in December 2018.
 
Before his rookie season started in 2019, Yuvraj played six times on the PGTI Tour (which included one Asian Tour event of Panasonic Open India) while still being an amateur in 2018.
In those 6 PGTI events, Yuvraj had challenged the field of pro golfers by getting the best result of tied fourth in Jaipur Open 2018 with amateur status.
 
During his rookie season, Yuvraj got three top-ten finishes in 2019 with the best result of tied fifth in ICC-RCGC Open Golf Championship. Yuvraj retained his card for the next season (2020-21) by finishing inside the top 60, at 30th position on the 2019 TATA Steel PGTI Rankings.
 
Despite the 2020-21 PGTI season being two years long, Yuvraj played brilliantly on his second season on the PGTI Tour.
 
Yuvraj played 7 events in 2020, from which Yuvraj made a cut in 6 events.
 
However, it was the two successive events of the Players Championship (held in Panchkula, Chandigarh) that awarded him the maximum OWGR points for 2020 because Yuvraj finished 5th in Panchkula, 4th in Chandigarh, and by getting back-to-back top-five finishes Yuvraj won a total of 2.6 OWGR points.
 
After the Players Championship, Yuvraj ended the year by finishing T38 in the Jeev Milkha Singh Invitational, T8 in Tata Steel Tour Championship to end 2020 with a world ranking of 983.
 
PGTI continued its 2020 season by staging multiple events in the following year.
 
The first two events of 2021 were played in Gujarat. Yuvraj finished T14 in Gujarat Open Golf Championship 2021, T6 in Glade One Masters 2021.
The third event of the year was Delhi-NCR Open 2021 where Yuvraj missed the cut, his first MC after making seven consecutive cuts from Bengal Open Golf Championship 2020 till the Glade One Masters 2021.
 
After the Delhi-NCR Open, the Tour was stopped for five months because India was hit by the second wave of Covid-19.
 
During the forced break of five months, Yuvraj had come in contact with the virus, he was tested positive for Covid-19 but after recovering from the deadly virus, Yuvraj worked hard on his fitness by hitting the gym regularly to improve his game.



(Photo Credit: Yuvraj Singh Sandhu Instagram Page).

And the results were encouraging because when the PGTI resumed its events from September 2021, Yuvraj finished inside the top fifteen in the first three restarted events of Golconda Masters, Players Championship, J&K Open and it was the Players Championship where Yuvraj accomplished his first top-three finish of the season, a third position in Panchkula Golf Club.

As the season continued, Yuvraj kept on improving his results on the PGTI Tour because in the next three events Yuvraj accomplished three consecutive top-ten finishes in the PGTI MP Cup, Jaipur Open 2021, Jeev Milkha Singh Invitational with the best result of fourth in the PGTI MP Cup.
 
Now, ever since the Tour was restarted in September 2021, Yuvraj had played phenomenal golf by posting five top-ten finishes from six events with the best result of third in Panchkula. Yuvraj made a cut in all six events.



Photo of Yuvraj’s OWGR rank, one week before the PGTI restarted its events from September 2021 (Photo Credit: OWGR).

This all led to an improvement in his world rankings because during these five months (April 2021-August 2021) when Yuvraj didn’t play any professional golf events on the domestic tour, Yuvraj lost a lot on the world rankings, and one week before the tour was restarted on 2nd September 2021, Yuvraj had a world ranking of 1,132. After playing six events from September 2021 to November 2021, Yuvraj had improved his OWGR rank to 776th, in the process he jumped 356 places on the OWGR rankings.
 
With 16 events completed, only four events were left in 2020-21 PGTI season, out of which the PGTI had planned to stage three events in East India - IndianOil Servo Masters Golf (Digboi), ICC-RCGC Open Golf Championship (Kolkata), Tata Steel Tour Championship (Jamshedpur), one in West India - Pune Open Golf Championship (Pune).

The 21st edition of the IndianOil Servo Masters Golf was staged in India’s North-Eastern town of Digboi in Assam.


 
Digboi Golf Links hosted the 2021 IndianOil Sevo Masters Golf.
 
During those four days (17th to 20th November) of the IndianOil Servo Masters Golf, the conditions were near perfect for playing golf with bright sunlight on all four days and zero chances of rainfall. The only downside about the tournament was that the first two days were started late due to heavy fog in the early mornings of Digboi which forced the PGTI to delay tee timings of the morning groups.
 
Yuvraj took advantage of the conditions by getting his opening two-round scores in the sixty’s (66, 68) to become the sole leader of the tournament after 36-holes, with a two-round total of ten under 134.
 
On the second last day of the event, Yuvraj added five strokes to his scorecard by scoring 67 in round three.
Yuvraj at -15, went to the final round with a two-stroke lead over the rest of the field. The 24-year-old had a shot for victory going into the Sunday round (20th November).



Yuvraj Singh Sandhu during the final round of IndianOil Servo Masters Golf.

On the final day of the IndianOil Servo Masters Golf, Yuvraj put on a final round show for the ages, Yuvraj scored a superb 64 in his fourth-round where he shot five birdies, one eagle in his back nine to win the IndianOil Servo Masters Golf by a gigantic margin of six-strokes.


2021 IndianOil Servo Masters Golf Champion - Yuvraj Singh Sandhu.

Yuvraj with an aggregate score of 265, accomplished his maiden victory on the PGTI Tour.
A first-ever win on the professional circuit awarded Yuvraj the maximum OWGR points (5) from a single event which benefited Yuvraj to make massive grounds on the world rankings because after winning the IndianOil Servo Masters Golf, Yuvraj jumped 234 places on the OWGR rankings to 542nd in the world.
 
Yuvraj’s world ranking kept on improving after that event in Digboi because Yuvraj got splendid results in the next two events of ICC-RCGC Open Golf Championship 2021, Pune Open Golf Championship 2021. Yuvraj finished T5 in Kolkata, T8 in Pune, due to which Yuvraj leaped 32 places to an OWGR rank of 510th.

The Pune Open Golf Championship was the final event of 2021, thus the regular season came to an end on 4th December 2021.
 
The top 60 players on the Tata Steel PGTI Rankings are allowed to play in the year-end event of the Tata Steel Tour Championship, Yuvraj at fourth position on the Tata Steel PGTI rankings effortlessly made it to his third Tour Championship.
 
Yuvraj scored 69, 76, 71, 71 in four days for an overall score of one under 287.
 
Yuvraj completed the year-end event with a final rank of T44.

Even though 44th position was his highest finish of the 2020-21 PGTI season still, there was something positive about Yuvraj’s performance in Jamshedpur because the 2021 Tata Steel Tour Championship was the third time Yuvraj was playing in the event, before 2021, Yuvraj had missed the cut in 2018 followed by a T51 finish in 2019. Hence, Yuvraj’s T44 finish was his best-ever result in the Tata Steel Tour Championship.

Yuvraj ended the 2020-21 PGTI season with a final Order of Merit rank of 6th.



(Photo Credit: PGTI).
 
During the 2020-21 PGTI season, Yuvraj had two distinctions, first of getting the most top-ten finishes by any player on the tour. Yuvraj got 12 top-ten finishes in the 2020-21 season.


(Photo Credit: PGTI).

Another record was of most cuts made in a single season. A record Yuvraj shared with Manu Gandas, both achieved 18 cuts in the 2020-21 PGTI Season.


(Photo Credit: PGTI).
 

Connect to us: dhruv@dktsports.com

By Dhruv Trivedi

January 04, 2022 in Golf

Looking Back: Sunit Chowrasia’s 2020-21 PGTI Season

Looking Back: Sunit Chowrasia’s 2020-21 PGTI Season

Last week, Sunit Chowrasia had almost achieved his fifth top five finish in Professional Golf Tour of India’s Tata Steel Tour Championship but the Kolkata based golfer finished just outside the top five at T6.

A position he shared with one of the best golfers from Asia – Gaganjeet Bhullar, who at that day, also finished at tied 6th.

Due to the Corona Virus pandemic, the PGTI had clubbed two seasons into one thus, PGTI played 7 events in 2020, 13 events in 2021.

Despite the PGTI playing only seven events in 2020, Sunit played great golf that year, as the 27-year-old secured cuts in all six events (Sunit didn’t played the 2nd event of Players Championship presented by Eagleton – The Golf Resort) he played, with a best finish of 10th in Panchkula, 2nd in Chandigarh.

That second-place finish in Chandigarh, was Sunit’s career best result in professional golf and not only that, Sunit also set a new course record of 62 during his fourth round in the PGTI Players Championship 2020 held at Chandigarh Golf Club.

Apart from setting a course record in Chandigarh Golf Course, the other highlight for Sunit in 2020 was that he entered the top 1000 in OWGR rankings, as Sunit ended the year with an OWGR rank of 910th.
 
With a start of new year (2021), Sunit continued his great form by getting results inside the top 50 in the first two events of 2021, held in Gujarat.

After making eight consecutive cuts since the 2020 Golconda Masters. Sunit had a couple of bad performances in the next two events held in Gurugram, Hyderabad as he missed consecutive cuts in the Delhi-NCR Open, Golconda Masters Telangana Open 2021.
 
But after those poor performances, Sunit never looked back as he played fantastically well in the remaining 9 PGTI events of 2021 where Sunit rarely finished outside the top 30, made cuts in all nine events.
 
Year after year, Sunit has improved his rank on the Order of Merit list because three years back, Sunit was ranked 44th during his rookie season (2018), next year Sunit improved his rank to 25th in 2019. This season (2020-21) Sunit finished 14th on the Tata Steel PGTI Rankings i.e., his best-ever rank on the OoM list.
 
Stats wise, Sunit has performed well in 2020-21 season compared to his previous two seasons (2019, 2018) because in 2020-21 season, Sunit has made cuts in 98% of the total events he has played, he missed cut only twice in the entire season, also he has finished six times inside the top ten, out of which four are top five finishes.
 
Sunit Chowrasia'a last three season stats:

Year Events Played Cut Top 5 Top 10 Best Result Order of Merit Rank
2020-21 19 17 4 6 2nd 14th
2019 17 13 1 3 T5 25th
2018 15 10 0 1 10th 44th

Stats source: Professional Golf Tour of India.

Another two interesting facts about Sunit’s 2020-21 season were his world ranking, his performance in PGTI’s marque event of Tata Steel Tour Championship.

Sunit started his season with an OWGR rank of 1397, he ended the 2020-21 season with a world ranking of 669th.

Graph of Sunit’s OWGR ranking during 2020-21 PGTI season:



Stats source: Official World Golf Rankings.


Ever since turning Pro in 2018, Sunit has played four times in the Tata Steel Tour Championship in his professional golf career, and it was in 2021 when Sunit accomplished his best-ever result in the Tour Championship where he finished tied sixth and achieved his first-ever top ten finish at the Tour Championship.

List of Sunit Chowrasia’s result in the Tour Championship:
Editions Result To Par
2021 T6 -14
2020 T43 -1
2019 T13 -15
2018 T46 Even Par
 

By Dhruv Trivedi

Connect to us: dhruv@dktsports.com

December 24, 2021 in Golf

Jyoti Randhawa – A Trailblazer

Jyoti Randhawa – A Trailblazer

Indian defence forces have helped grooming many sports personalities. Indian golf pioneer, Jyoti Randhawa, too was fortunate enough to have his father- a decorated senior officer to cultivate interest in golf since very early age.
 
Jyoti's father Brigadier R S Randhawa used to take Jyoti on the golf courses which ignited a passion in Jyoti for golf.
“I started in 1986, I was fourteen years old, my father used to play golf in the army, I used to go around with him, that’s how I started.”
 
During his early years, Jyoti played exceptionally well by winning a couple of tournaments.
“I had good successful career all along, as a sub-junior I won the All-India Sub-Junior Championship then, as an amateur, I won the All-India Amateur Championship so, there has been a gradual steady rise.”
 
Jyoti's first success in professional golf came at home in 1998 at the Hero Honda Masters. In the following year Jyoti successfully defended his title, by winning the 1999 Hero Honda Masters.
 
After getting back-to-back Asian Tour titles in 1998, 1999, that gave a tremendous confidence to Jyoti because in 2000, Jyoti won three times on the domestic tour (PGA of India) and won the national championship (Wills Indian Open) for the first time in his career. Along with the Indian Open, Jyoti also won the Singapore Open on the same year.
 
However, in 2001 the adventure enthusiast Jyoti, met with an accident, injuring his collar bone. Injury pushed Jyoti out of the game for a couple of months but later in the following year, he made a strong comeback and won the Asian Order of Merit title in 2002 and also became the first Indian to win the Oom title in Asian PGA Tour.
“I did have a motorcycle accident in 2001, when I came back won the Asian Order of Merit, that was a good comeback.”
 
One intriguing fact about Jyoti's 2002 OoM title was that he didn’t win a single event that year but still he was declared the title winner and made history by becoming the first Indian to do so.
“I guess because I was very consistent, I had a lot of top ten finishes, top five finishes didn’t win that year but I won the Asian Order of Merit.”
 
In 2003, Jyoti played his first full season on the Japan Golf Tour, in his 10th event of his rookie season, Jyoti won his first-ever Japan Golf Tour title at the Suntory Open. And Jyoti became the first Indian to win in Japan.
“That was amazing, it was the first time an Indian had done it, it was a tough tour that time for us, we were not good as players than but it was a great experience, I cherish that forever.”
 
The two highlights for Jyoti that week in Chiba, Japan was finishing ten strokes ahead of the legendary Phil Mickelson who at that, had already won 21-times on the PGA Tour.
The second was, Jyoti being awarded 1000 bottles of Beer by the tournament sponsor Suntory.
 
During an exclusive chat with DKT Sports, Jyoti revealed what he did with those 1000 beer bottles.
“I gave all those bottles to my physio, then to the staff, to some players, I never drank and gave it my caddy. My caddy used to drink, Bunty so, I just gave all of it.”
 
Since 2003 onwards Jyoti’s career sky rocketed as the former Asia No. one golfer won four more titles on the Asian Tour. From 1998-2009 Jyoti won eight times on the Asian Tour.
 
Apart from winning on the Asian Tour, the domestic tour, one major international tour title- European Tour has still continued to elude Jyoti.

When asked Jyoti a win on the European Tour he said “Yes, I do think about it, I have lot of second finishes, I never won there, that is something that I will remember and I will regret it yes.”
 
This week in India’s eastern state of Jharkhand, Jyoti told DKT Sports that he is now looking for a comeback as his last victory on the continental tour (Asian Tour) came 12 years ago in 2009 (Singha Thailand Open), last victory on the domestic tour came 9 years ago in 2012 (PGTI Players Championship).
“Now, I am playing and practicing, waiting for a comeback so let’s see.”
 
Jyoti who turns 50 in May 2022, told DKT Sports on his plans for next year,
“I think I will be going for the Senior US Tour Qualifying because I will be 50 next year, I will do that and also play on the Asian Tour and of course I will keep playing on the Indian Tour also.”

 

By Dhruv Trivedi

Connect to us: dhruv@dktsports.com

December 18, 2021 in Golf

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