Chikka spearheads Indian challenge

The 17-year-old Bangalorean, who this February became the youngest to clinch the All-India Amateur Championship, will be partnered by Ashbeer Saini, Honey Biasoya and Manu Gandas as India hope to cash in on home advantage to clinch the Janya Cup for boys for the first time ever in its 31st edition.

“We’ve been practising hard in a camp here for the past one week,” said Chikkarangappa after a practice round on Wednesday in the company of non-playing captain Rashid Khan and Saini. Apart from home advantage, the biggest plus for India is the form and experience of the team. While Chikkarangappa is playing this event for the fourth time, having finished tied second twice in individual competition, the 16-year-old Saini is fresh from victory last month in the Surya Nepal Masters, a pro event.

The girls’ team competition for the RCGC Cup and the boys’ Janya Cup will see action in the strokeplay format with the boys fighting it over 72 holes and girls over 54 holes. The best three individual scores will be considered for boys and the best two for girls. Players will also compete for individual honours and the Amalia Montecillo Rolling trophy.

In all, seven countries will be vying for the team crown with defending champions Thailand starting clear favourites.

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