Four Indians earn Asian Tour cards

Last Updated 30 December 2018, 13:40 IST

Four Indian golfers, including young Aadil Bedi, earned a full card for the next season of Asian Tour after the completion of the fifth and final round of Asian Tour Qualifying School Final Stage here on Sunday.

Bedi took his first major step in pro golf, rounding off the week with a bogey-free eight-under 63 in the fifth round to jump from tied-36th to tied-ninth and earn a full card for the Asian Tour in 2019.

The 17-year-old shot rounds of 67, 72, 68, 69 and 63 at 16-under to emerge as the best Indian in the field.

After the second cut applied at the end of 72 holes, the top 70 and ties fought for the 35 and ties to get priority for the coming year.

Another Indian showing great grit and form was Aman Raj, who shot five-under 66 to move from overnight T-27 to T-13.

Chiragh Kumar, a former winner on Asian Tour, and Abhijit Chadha shot 71 each to finish right on the line at tied-35th to also earn a full card.

Austen Truslow of the United States topped the class when he signed off his marathon week with a closing six-under-par 65 to secure his Tour card.

He progressed from the first stage last week to emerge winner this week with a five-day total of 24-under-par 331.

"I lost a dear friend (in a road accident) on the first day, back home. It was tough mentally, but I managed to play well and I'm glad that it has all come together, said an emotional Bedi.

"Now that I've earned the card, there's more purpose in my practice and I'll be definitely looking forward to the tournaments that I get to play. It was difficult to focus at times. When there are long waits between holes, or between rounds at night, I think about my friend. But, it was a good week. I've played really solid in all parts of my game."

While Bedi turned pro this season, Aman turned pro in 2016 and won the Q-School on the domestic Tour in India, but registered his first pro win in September this year in Jaipur.

A close friend of Shubhankar Sharma, he admits to being motivated by the former's achievements in the last couple of years.

Chiragh is a former winner of the Asian Tour event at Panasonic Open in 2015 and has four other wins on Indian Tour. Chadha has two titles on the Indian Tour.

Interestingly, three of four Indian players who earned the card on Sunday have played at the Asian Games – Chiragh was in the team that won silver in 2006; Chadha was in the silver-winning team in 2010 in Guangzhou; while Bedi featured in 2018 Asiad team.

(Published 30 December 2018, 13:26 IST)

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