India win team medal at Nomura Cup after 18 years

August 19th, 2011 - 9:12 pm ICT by IANS  

Denarau Island (Fiji), Aug 19 (IANS) Teenager Khalin Joshi from Bangalore spearheaded a brilliant performance by the Indian golf team which ended an 18-year-long medal drought with a bronze in the team championships in the Asia-Pacific Golf championships for Nomura Cup at the Denarau Golf Course in Fiji Friday.

Joshi was also tied for third in individual standings.

The Indian team, which was lying third after three rounds maintained their position and finished on the podium as they aggregated 211 in the fourth and final round for a total of 865.

Australia won the Nomura Cup for a record ninth time with a final round of 201 and a total of 840, while New Zealand finished second at 861 with a final round of 209. Korea was fourth and Japan fifth. The best three cards counted each day.

The last time India won a medal here was in 1993 when they settled for a bronze.

India won the title in 1973 at Jakarta, Indonesia. The team then was RK Pitamber, Billoo Sethi, Vikramjit Singh and Lakshman Singh.

Joshi, one of the most promising young players in India, shot a superb four-under 68, his best score of the week for a total of three-under 285 that gave a share of the third place with two others.

Cameron Smith returned a final round four under par 68, for a nine under par total of nine-under 279, while Jake Higginbottom (66) finished second at seven-under 281. Joshi tied with Daniel Bringolf of Australia and Ryan Fox of New Zealand, all of them totalling 285.

Rohit Amit, President of the Indian Golf Union, sent a congratulatory message to the team saying: “This performance of the Indian team shows how Indian golf has progressed in recent times. They won a silver medal at the Asian Games in Guangzhou and then the Asian Junior gold and now the bronze at the prestigious Nomura Cup.

“The Indian team has been going great guns and we have a fine bunch of young players, who will bring more laurels to the country. Individual performances of players like Khalin Joshi, third at Nomura Cup, besides Abhijit Chadha, winner of Faldo Series Asia Grand Final and Chikkarangappa shows Indian golf is in a very good health.”

Alan Singh, the High Performance coach of the Indian Golf Union, said: “The Indian boys were superb and they did well on each of the four days and sometimes under very tough conditions. Their combination was excellent and this should be great for Indian golf.”

While Smith and Higginbottom are automatically selected in the Asia-Pacific team to contest the Bonallack Trophy against Europe in Portugal next year, Khalin Joshi will compete with Bringolf and Fox for the other spots which will be decided at the Asian Amateur Championships later in the year.

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