Indian Golf Team Aims for Medals in All Four Sections at Asian Games
The Indian golf team, comprising seven talented players, seeks to maintain their recent strong performance at the 19th Asian Games, with a focus on securing medals in all four categories.
The Indian Golf team, consisting of seven accomplished players, is poised to extend their impressive recent form into the 19th Asian Games set to commence on Thursday.
The men’s team, comprised of Anirban Lahiri, Shubhankar Sharma, Khalin Joshi, and SSP Chawrasia, will spearhead India’s quest for glory. The women’s team features Aditi Ashok, Pranavi Urs, and Avani Prashanth.
Lahiri and Sharma earned automatic berths in the men’s section, while Aditi secured a similar honor among the women. Joshi and Chawrasia for men and Pranavi and Avani for women earned their spots through qualifiers organized by the Indian Golf Union, which included both amateurs and professionals.
Of the seven athletes, Lahiri is the sole member to have clinched a medal at the Asian Games, accomplishing this feat back in 2006 when he was still an amateur. Reflecting on that achievement, he reminisced, “That was an amazing feeling.”
Lahiri boasts a series of top-three finishes on the LIV Tour and the International Series on the Asian Tour. Additionally, Shubhankar Sharma recorded a remarkable top-10 finish at the 2023 British Open, marking the best-ever performance by an Indian at the event.
Expressing his excitement about the upcoming Asian Games, Lahiri emphasized the significance of representing the nation in this prestigious event. He acknowledged the presence of some less-familiar faces on the team but stressed the importance of their collective strength and form.
As the most senior player in the golf contingent, Lahiri has participated in two Olympic Games – Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020. He added, “All of us, both the girls and the boys, are a strong team. We have some people who are in good form. And I think that’s important heading into events like this. Yeah, I think we can bring back a few medals. I say a few because I think we have a very good chance in all four events, the individuals and team, in both men and women. That’s what we will be looking at.”
Aditi has been in splendid form on the Ladies European Tour, securing victory at the Kenya Ladies Open and currently ranking fourth on the Order of Merit. She has also demonstrated remarkable consistency on the Ladies PGA (LPGA) Tour, considered the world’s premier tour for women golfers.
Speaking about her preparations for the Asian Games, Aditi expressed her enthusiasm and readiness for the competition. She shared her focus on intensive training and honing all aspects of her game.
Pranavi has been actively competing on the Epson Tour, the second-level tour in the United States, while amateur Avani Prashanth claimed the prestigious Queen Sirikit Cup in Manila this year. Notably, Avani also emerged victorious in a professional event in Europe while still maintaining her amateur status.
Brijinder Singh, President of the Indian Golf Union, voiced confidence in both the men’s and women’s teams, emphasizing their strong form and the prospects of securing medals in individual and team events.
SSP Chawrasia, with six professional titles from the Asian and European Tours, partnered with Lahiri at the Rio Olympics but will make his Asian Games debut this year. Shubhankar Sharma, who narrowly missed selection for the 2010 Asian Games, transitioned to professional golf a few years later and will represent India for the first time in a multi-discipline Games. Khalin Joshi, a close friend of Sharma since their junior days, will also make his Asian Games debut.
In the women’s category, Aditi participated in the 2014 Asian Games as an amateur and later competed in the 2016 and 2020 Olympics. At the Tokyo Olympics, she finished fourth, captivating the nation’s attention.
Her fellow teammates, Pranavi Urs and amateur Avani Prashanth, both hailing from Bengaluru, are poised to make their debut at the Asian Games.