Playing golf and travelling, Tvesa Malik is working towards her dreams

Playing golf and travelling, Tvesa Malik is working towards her dreams

Tvesa Malik is living the life she always dreamt of – playing golf and travelling the world. This week she drove from the Ladies European Tour event in Italy to the next one in France, and two weeks before that she was in South Africa after practicing for a while in Dubai.
After managing to keep her card over the las two, Tvesa started 2021 well with a T-23 finish in South Africa and T-10 in Italy, where she was in contention early into the third and final round and even shared the lead for a brief while. “This year I want to play as many events as I can get into and I am growing and learning each week,” says Tvesa, who interestingly had a leading Indian pro, Ajeetesh Sandhu, on the bag. Sandhu was in Europe and did not get into the European Tour event himself,  so helped out Tvesa.
Travelling is nothing new to Tvesa. As a kid, she travelled as she grew up and went to school in different cities, and even countries. Her father, Aloke, travelled a lot for his work, with his wife Ritu. The travelling clearly seems to have rubbed off on the daughters, too.
It is quite possible that Aloke and Ritu even named their daughters, Tvesa and Kasvi, as a result of their travels. While Kasvi means Shinning in Hindi, it also means ‘popular’ in Russian; and Tvesa means ‘luck’ in Hindi, and it means brilliant in Russian. Aloke was once posted in Russia, too!
Tvesa is now a globe-trotter as professional golf takes her to different places. “The last one year has made me mental stronger. I chose to play pro golf and I am ready to take the (Covid) tests and precautions that are needed for it in current situation,” said Tvesa. Last year she went out to Europe and Middle east for few events on the Ladies European Tour and now she is back on the road, as she moved from India to Middle East to South Africa to Italy and this week she will be in France.
Tvesa began taking an interest in golf when she was about eight and playing with her was elder sister, Kasvi. Many felt Kasvi had tremendous potential, too, but she went on to pursue a corporate job that has taken her to South East Asia like the Philippines and Singapore.
Meanwhile, Tvesa, who, along with Kasvi collected a bunch of amateur trophies and honours, became more serious with golf. After spending time in Kolkata, the family moved to Bangalore and is now based in Gurugram.
In Kolkata she often played at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club where the former well-known pro and now golf promoter and coach, Brandon de Souza, first saw her around 2006. “Her Dad, who was in ITC, was a friend, and I saw both sisters play and they seem to love it. Kasvi was a bit older, so a bit better at that stage,” recalls Brandon De Souza, who says he is a mentor to Tvesa.
Once she started playing, golf started growing on Tvesa. Her father and her grandfather were keen golfers.  In time she kept going up the ladder on the Indian Golf Union amateur circuit and  successes piled up.
Back in 2007 when she was in Bengaluru, Shalini Malik, a former pro and now a referee, suggested that Tvesa come to Delhi to volunteer for the Women’s Indian Open. Tvesa agreed and her memories include the golf balls she collected as a volunteer. It added to her interest in the game.
When she came to Gurugram, she joined Scottish High School, which interestingly still has a golf programme for beginners under Karan Bindra and Anitya Chand of the DLF Golf and Country Club. Tvesa who later did her graduation from Delhi’s Jesus and Mary College, trained with Anitya for around three years between 2016-2018 and that coincided with her growth in amateur golf. Interestingly Tvesa’s first win in a pro event came on the domestic Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour in 2015, while still being an amateur.
She became one of the leading Indian amateurs. She represented India at the World Amateur Team Championship for 2016 Espirito Santo Trophy. Tvesa’s teammates at the event were Diksha Dagar and Gaurika Bishnoi, both of whom are also professionals now. Tvesa and Diksha also share a sponsor in Hero MotoCorp and play together on the European Tour.
Even before the World Amateurs, Tvesa, Diksha and Gaurika represented India at the 2016 Queen Sirikit Cup. Tvesa played one more edition of the Queen Sirikit Cup in 2017 alongside Diksha and Pranavi Urs, also a pro now.
Two years after winning a pro event as an amateur, Tvesa turned pro in 2017. She won twice and finished joint third on the Order of Merit. A year later in 2018 she won four times on the Hero Womens Indian Tour and topped the Order of Merit. By 2019 she had started looking at the Ladies European Tour, but still won twice in seven starts in India.
A T-13th place at the LET-sanctioned 2018 Hero Women’s Indian Open made her the top Indian in the event, but it was in 2019 that she started playing regularly on the LET. In 2019, she made just three cuts in first seven events, but made the cut in all five events from September to December. That included her first career Top-10 on LET, at T-6 at the Hero Women’s Indian Open.
The following year, 2020, was a truncated one due to the pandemic. Tvesa managed three starts, two in Australia and one in South Africa, before she was grounded at home for over five months due to Covid.
The moment events began, she found her way to Europe and started playing and played nine events on LET, including her first Major, the AIG Women’s Open, and two more on LET Access (LETAS) Tour. She had a Top-10 in France and a Top-5 in LETAS in Switzerland.
“Playing in Europe and managing myself through all that and the tests and travel was a big experience,” recalled Tvesa then. “My game was improving and getting better and the things I had worked on showed results.”
Brandon, who Tvesa says has been a big help over the last few years, is happy with the way she is progressing.
“Tvesa has built a fine team around her. She has people for nutrition, physical fitness, mental training and I help in golf. She is working at it 360 degrees and that is beginning to show in the way she prepares. She has also good sponsors like Hero MotoCorp, without doubt the biggest supporters of the game in India. Other sponsors like Halmari Tea, Kakinada Sea Ports,
Callaway and DLF Golf have been great for her plus there is great support from her family, parents Aloke, Ritu and sister Kasvi,” says Brandon.
He added, “She is maturing fast. For instance, she finds everything she can about weather and the course before landing. She knew it would be windy in South Africa and this week she knows it will rain in France.”
The next goal?
“I obviously want to break through on the LET and then move forward,” says Tvesa.
Brandon adds to that, “The final goal is to get to. the LPGA and do well. Then who knows?”


By Golf XYZ

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April 13, 2022 in Golf

Yashas Chandra achieves his first-ever top-ten finish on the Asian Tour

Yashas Chandra achieves his first-ever top-ten finish on the Asian Tour

Recently, Mysore’s Yashas Chandra accomplished his first top-ten finish of his Asian Tour career but the journey to a first-ever top-ten was a difficult one.

Yashas had a brilliant start to his professional golf career where he won the PGTI Emerging Player of the Year in his rookie season (2018), what followed was another great season of 2019 and, in that season, Yashas got three top-five finishes in 2019 PGTI season, with the best result of second in the Pune Open Golf Championship 2019.

After two amazing seasons, the 2020-21 PGTI season was difficult for Yashas because, during those two years (2020, 2021), Yashas struggled to make cuts, top-ten finishes for the majority of the season, however, a top-ten finish at the year-ending event of the Tata Steel Tour Championship 2021 helped Yashas to regain some confidence for the next season.

Following a satisfactory season (2020-21) on the PGTI Tour, Yashas worked hard on his game during the off-season.
“Off-season I worked on all aspects of the game, my tee shots, especially my woods of the tea and my short game within 50 yards, two areas I worked a lot and it is shaping up well this season ahead.”
Yashas began his fourth season on the PGTI Tour on February 22.’ He played superbly in the season-opening events of the Gujarat Open Golf Championship (T12), Glade One Masters (4), held in Ahmedabad, Gujarat.

Yashas continued his good form in the fourth event of the season - the Players Championship at the Tollygunge Club, Kolkata. He claimed a top-thirty finish (T27) in that event.

Following three solid performances in Ahmedabad, Kolkata. On March 22’ Yashas played in one of the most important events of the year – The DGC Open presented by Mastercard.
It was an important event on the season calendar not because it was an international golf event but the first international golf event in India after two years.

During the first two days of the event, Yashas struggled with his putting which resulted in an over-par score of +2 after 36-holes but as the cut was way below at +5 Yashas, despite scoring 73 twice (in round one, two), easily made it to the weekend.
Yashas’s ball-striking, putting was much better in the final two days of the Asian Tour event, Yashas first shot a two-under-70 on his third round to move inside the top-fifteen (T12) followed by yet another under-par round of 71 to finish the tournament at one-under-287.

Yashas on his performance at The DGC Open,
“I was hitting the ball very well throughout the week, my ball-striking was great, just sad I didn’t make putts in the first two rounds. I putted little better in the last two rounds that help me to get some under-par rounds but my ball striking was very good that week so, that helped me to keep it consistent.”
At -1, Yashas accomplished his first-ever top ten finish (T10) of his Asian Tour career. Yashas who finished tied tenth on the Asian Tour event of The DGC Open was pleased with his result,
“Was very very happy after the finish because I don’t have a full status on the Asian Tour, I have a conditional card. I finished just outside top-35 in the last Q-School so, this finish will help me after re-ranking, I will move higher up in the ranking maybe I will get some start later in the year.”
To finish inside the top-ten in an international golf event is always a big confidence booster for any golfer and Yashas was no different,
“It was boast for my confidence as well because it was a good feel, all the elite players were there that week and I was also feeling good about my game, have been playing pretty well so, yeah confidence is great, such a big event if you finish in the top-ten, you feel you can manage to do well for your normal game and perform on the Asian Tour as well.”
Now, before The DGC Open, the Panasonic Open India was Yashas’ last Asian Tour event in 2019.

Yashas contemplates that he has consistently improved his game in the previous two years,
“There has been a consistent improvement in the past few years, I had my ups and downs but I would say if I look at a larger picture, there has been a consistent improvement with all aspect of the game.”
The next event after The DGC Open was the co-sanctioned event of the Gurugram Challenge 2022 played at Nuh, Haryana. Yashas finished T14 in that event to register his fourth top-fifteen finish of the season.

After the end of six PGTI events, Yashas is ranked ninth on the Tata Steel PGTI Rankings i.e., his highest rank ever on the Order of Merit standings.

Yashas has yet to achieve his first-ever victory on the professional circuit. During an exclusive chat with DKT Sports, the 27-year-old revealed, that he desires get his maiden victory in the upcoming PGTI events of the TATA Steel PGTI Players Championship 2022 presented by Chandigarh Golf Club, Prometheus School presents Delhi-NCR Open 2022.
“Now, we got last two events on the PGTI so, hopefully, I can get a win in the next two weeks. I have been trying hard to win my first event on the PGTI and then, hopefully, I will get some starts on the ADT Tour so, I will be playing a few ADT events this off-season.”


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April 09, 2022 in Golf

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).

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By Dhruv Trivedi

January 04, 2022 in Golf

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