Rapid Rise of Yuvraj Singh Sandhu

Rapid Rise of Yuvraj Singh Sandhu

In the last 3 years, Yuvraj Singh Sandhu is playing tremendous golf in international, domestic tours by earning top-ten finishes and also claiming three victories on the domestic tour. This all are the fruits of his hard work and years of unrelenting determination, passion for golf.

To understand the story behind this young man, we will have to go a decade back, because Yuvraj’s golfing journey begin in North-East India as his father Brigadier Balwinder Singh Sandhu was posted in Dimapur, Nagaland and gradually, Yuvraj learned the game of golf which would later, become his life.
“Actually, the thing is, that I started playing golf 10 years back in North-East itself, my dad was posted in Dimapur and since then, I have been in touch with golf and sooner or later I took it up as a profession,” said Yuvraj to DKT Sports in November 21’.
 
After finding his passion, Yuvraj quickly showed his potential by playing in world-class amateur events like the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship in late-2010s.

Yuvraj played the prestigious event (AAC) thrice (2016-18) in his amateur career. His best result came in 2018 when he achieved a T21 finish in Sentosa Golf Club, Singapore.
“I feel playing that event [AAC] is every amateur’s dream, I was lucky enough to play three events back-to-back. Played different places altogether, I remember playing Korea which was really, really, cold and then we played New Zealand which was also cold but not that different from Korea and lastly was Singapore which was humid and hot. According to me the field, the Asia-Pacific field is the elitist of the field on the Asia-Pacific continent and I feel if every amateur can get a chance to rub their shoulders with the best in the Asia-Pacific, I think they know if they are ready to turn pro or not so, I think that event really helped me to understand what I need to be, what would I need to get ridded of,” said Yuvraj.
During this time, Yuvraj would become the no. 1 ranked, amateur golfer in the country (in 2017).
 
Playing with the world's best amateur golfers enabled Yuvraj to take his game to the next level because after returning from his last AAC event in Singapore, Yuvraj claimed his first pro victory in August 2019 in PGTI's Feeder Tour. He didn't stop there as he claimed another victory in his fourth Feeder Tour start.
 
With two wins in four starts, Yuvraj claimed his first Order of Merit title of his professional golf career in 2019 at the PGTI's development tour (Feeder Tour).




Yuvraj's second professional golf season was a lengthy one (two-year long) and a memorable one too, because he would claim his maiden victory on the main tour (PGTI Tour) in this particular season.
 
During the 2020-21 PGTI season, Yuvraj’s chances of a breakthrough victory (on the PGTI Tour) looked more and more certain in his fourth last PGTI event of the IndianOil Servo Masters Golf 2021, because before going into the event, Yuvraj had claimed nine top-ten finishes with a best result of T3 in the TATA Steel PGTI Players Championship 2021 presented by Govt. of Haryana & Panchkula Golf Club.
 
In the IndianOil Servo Masters Golf 2021, Yuvraj carded 66, 68, 67, in the first three days of the tournament. After three rounds, Yuvraj was leading the IndianOil Servo Masters Golf by two-strokes.
"I think I have put myself in a good place to win the event. I am really happy the way I am playing, I would not really change anything going into the final day and just enjoy Digboi as it is because I haven't been to place this peaceful where I can get to play golf and have fun at the same time," said Yuvraj to DKT Sports after his third round.


 

On the final day of the IndianOil Servo Masters Golf, Yuvraj played with utmost confidence and with an eye on the win, Yuvraj carded a 64 in his final round to win his maiden PGTI Tour event in a dominating fashion - victory by six strokes.
 
The IndianOil Servo Masters Golf was Yuvraj's third win of his professional golf career but a first win on the main tour (PGTI Tour).
 
And sometimes, it's amusing to see how life brings you to full circle, because Yuvraj learned the sport in North-East India and his first major victory came in North-East India.
"North-East has been always close to my heart, I mean I started playing golf in North East when my father was posted in Dimapur, back when I was in third grade so, winning here is a special feeling, North East has always close to my heart, now it’s even more special,” said Yuvraj to DKT Sports after winning the IndianOil Servo Masters Golf.
 
Later, Yuvraj got two more top-ten finishes (RCGC Open, Pune Open) in the PGTI Tour along with a best-ever finish of T44 in the season-ending event of Tata Steel Tour Championship.
 
Yuvraj with twelve top-ten finishes, one victory, finished 6th on the 2021 Order of Merit standings.
Yuvraj begin the season (2020-21) with an OWGR ranking of 1592, completed the season with a year-end world ranking of 505.


 

Yuvraj begin his third PGTI season through a double-header in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Yuvraj claimed a top-ten finish (T6) in the Gujarat Open Golf Championship 2022 followed by a missed cut at the Glade One Masters 2022.
 
After having a satisfactory start of the season, Yuvraj pulled off a stellar victory in his third PGTI event of the Players Championship at the Tollygunge Club, Kolkata.
Yuvraj claimed his fourth victory of his professional golf career in mid-March through the Players Championship.
 
Yuvraj continued his great form in the next two international events on the Asian Tour, Asian Development Tour (ADT).



Yuvraj Singh Sandhu with Karandeep Kochhar at the DGC Open.

Yuvraj played superbly in both events, as he wrapped up a top-ten finish (T6) on the Asian Tour event of The DGC Open presented by Mastercard, followed by a top-four finish (T4) in the ADT event of the Gurugram Challenge 2022.
 
And Yuvraj's top-ten finish at The DGC Open was his first-ever top-ten finish of his Asian Tour career.
 
“I think it is very special thing [to finish inside the top-ten] it's one of my third start on the Asian Tour and finishing in top-ten would be an iceing on the cake for me. I just became the member of the Asian Tour and I am looking forward to more and more events on the Asian Tour and just becoming part of the Asian Tour family," said Yuvraj to DKT Sports after finishing T6 at The DGC Open presented by Mastercard.



 
Now, if there is one thing, that has helped Yuvraj in his recent success is patience, because during his fourth victory at the Tollygunge Club, Kolkata, Yuvraj begin his final round with a three-stroke lead over Viraj Madappa along with two tied-second players here, Yuvraj quickly lost his lead in his front nine nevertheless, being patient helped the Chandigarh based golfer, as he made a comeback in the back nine by scoring a couple of birdies, one eagle which helped Yuvraj to win the Players Championship by a narrow margin of one stroke.

Yuvraj on his Players Championship victory,
"It was just patience and hard work together, I think my hardwork paid-off, I couldn’t be more thankful to all the PGTI staff, everybody who put the tournament together and it's just something which is very very close to my heart now, because I played with one of my really good friends Viraj [Madappa] who played with his heart out on the last day but, I think it's just about being patient,” said Yuvraj.
 
A similar instance took place at The DGC Open, because in it, Yuvraj had not the best of the starts, he was +3 after completion of his third round, but again, being patient helped Yuvraj as he carded a wonderful round of 67 on the final day to end his tournament at two-under-par, subsequently, finish inside the top-ten at The DGC Open.
 
“The whole tournament [The DGC Open] was a more of roller-coaster for me, I came up with very good momentum, winning last week [Players Championship] but I think this course [Lodhi Course] and this tournament [The DGC Open] has taught me that being patient will get the job done, no matter what so, I think that’s the biggest take away for me,” said Yuvraj to DKT Sports in March 22’.

Two top-ten finishes in two international golf events helped Yuvraj to reach a world ranking of 359.



 
In April, the PGTI went to Chandigarh for staging the TATA Steel PGTI Players Championship 2022 presented by Chandigarh Golf Club.
During the four days of the Players Championship, Yuvraj carded 70, 67, 65, 69, for an overall score of 17-under-271. Yuvraj won the Players Championship by one stroke over Bangladesh’s MD Zamal Hossain Mollah.
Yuvraj claimed his first win at his home club – Chandigarh Golf Club.
 
With a victory at his home club, Yuvraj have now won three-times on the PGTI Tour in span of four months (November 21’ – April 22’).
 
A fifth career win led Yuvraj to a career-best OWGR ranking of 308.
 
Later, another PGTI event took place in April - Prometheus School presents Delhi-NCR Open 2022.
Yuvraj finished T33 in the Delhi-NCR Open. It turned out to be the last PGTI event of 2022 as no PGTI events took place after the Delhi-NCR Open.
 
After completion of 7 OoM events in the 2022 PGTI season, Yuvraj is ranked second on the Order of Merit standings i.e., his best-ever rank.
This season, Yuvraj has claimed five top-tens and two wins in 2022.
 
In a short span of time, Yuvraj has accomplished so much in his three year-long professional golf career as he went from a top-thirty finish (30) on the OoM standings in 2019 (rookie season) to his present rank of second in the 2022 PGTI season and also, world ranking wise, Yuvraj has improved a lot, because when he begin his professional golf career, Yuvraj was ranked outside the top-2000 of the OWGR rankings in Feb-19’ but after his rigorous hard work and eye-catching results, this young lad has moved inside the top-350 of the OWGR rankings.
Yuvraj is the third highest ranked golfer in India with an OWGR ranking of 343.

Still a long way to go, but this young man from Chandigarh is the one to watch.



 

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By Dhruv Trivedi

July 09, 2022 in Golf

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?”


[PHOTO CREDIT: FILE PIC - LET]
 

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

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