By Rahul Banerji
Quality performances up and down the field set up some close battles for the final day of the US Kids Golf India’s second Indian Championship at the Classic Golf and Country Club on Thursday.
As many as eight leaders or co-leaders were being hotly pursued by rivals two shots or less behind while in the girls 9-10 category Rabab Kahlon and Aanya Dandriyal were tied for the lead after two days.
One of the most engaging battles saw Prince Bainsla (68-71) and Kartik Singh (71-69) in a close tussle in the boys 12 section as the two engaged in a birdie fest.
Bainsla, whose first round 68 has been the best 18-hole score in relation to par so far, added a 71 with four birdies against three bogeys. Kartik had five birdies and dropped two shots in his 69.
Two more great contests were developed in the boys 9 and boys 11 categories.
In the first, Adit Veeramachaneni shot a 75 after a first round 73 and headed the field as Arnav Kumar (75-75) was second with Siddhant Sharma (76-75) a close third.
First day leader Sohraab Singh Talwar (70-82) had slipped to fourth.
In the boys 11 section, Chaitanya Pandey (75-72) moved ahead of overnight co-leader Keiran Gouri (75-73) while Arihan Beri (77-74) joined the fray with a solid 74.
Pandey had a steady round with one birdie and one bogey, while Keiran had four birdies against five bogeys. Beri, who was four-over after 11 holes, recovered well for a 2-over card to get to third place.
There was also some gritty play in the youngest category for girls, the 8 and under, besides some excellent scoring in the boys 7 and under. Both sections were held over nine holes at the Canyon Course.
After three bogeys in the first seven holes, Amaira Gulati closed birdie-birdie for a 38 to take a seven-shot lead over Vihana Patel (40-40) in the girls 7 and under.
Kabir Goyal (33-33) shot a second straight three-under 33 in the boys section to lead by 15 shots over Divjot Gupta (41-40).
After a bogey-free first day, Kabir had five birdies and two bogeys on Thursday.
After five bogeys in the first six holes in the girl’s 15-18 section, Lavanya Gupta (75-73) holed out for an eagle from more than 90 yards on the par-4 seventh hole.
Her recovery included an eagle-birdie-birdie run on seven, eight and nine and a birdie on 14 but she dropped a shot on 15.
Lavanya leads Malaysia’s Kathiyayani Gunasegar (75-79) by six shots who was alongside Panchkula’s Jiah Kang (80-74).
Round 1 leaders: Girls section
8 & Under (9 holes/1495 yards): Amaira Gulati (Lucknow) 35-38 (+1); Vihana Patel (Guj) 40-40 (+8)
9-10 (18/3995 yards): Aanya Dandriyal (UP) 80-85 (+21); Rabab Kahlon (Mohali) 85-80 (+21)
11-12 (18/4585 yards): Kriti Parekh (TN) 70-76 (+2); Shambhavi Chaturvedi (UP) 76-72 (+4)
13-14 (18/5665 yards): Mahreen Bhatia (Ggn) 80-78 (+14), Alysha Dutt (Ggn) 80-80 (+16)
15-18 (18/5665 yards): Lavanya Gupta (Delhi) 75-73 (+4); Kaathiyayani Gunasegar (Malaysia) 75-79 (+10); Jiah Kang (Har) 80-74 (+10)
7 & Under (9/1755 yards): Kabir Goyal (Noida) 33-33 (-6); Divjot Gupta (Jalandhar) 41-40- (+9)
Age 8 (18/2010 yards): Jot Sarup Gupta (Jalandhar) 46-55 (+29); Arihant Joshi (Hyd) 60-55 (+43);
Age 9 (18/3995 yards): Adit Veeramachaneni (Bangalore) 73-75 (+4); Arnav Kumar 75-75 (+6)
Age 10 (18/4585 yards): Vidit Aggarwal (Delhi) 83-72 (+11); Aditya Misra (Delhi) 81-79 (+16)
Age 11 (18/5193 yards): Chaitanya Pandey (Delhi) 75-72 (+3); Keiran Gouri (Canada) 75-73 (+4)
Age 12 (18/5665 yards): Prince Bainsla (Haryana) 68-71 (-5); Kartik Singh (Gurgaon) 71-69 (-4)
13-14 (18/6386 yards): Bhavesh Nirwan (UP) 73-72 (+1); Pritish Singh Karayat (Delhi) 76-70 (+2)
15-18 (18/6386 yards): Ishan Ahuja (Gurgaon) 73-72 (+1); Ram Singh Mann Ramirez (Chd) 76-71 (+3)
Also read: Prince rules as 7 go sub-par on Day 1 of US Kids Golf Indian Championship