The prestigious event for the juniors finds its way into India after a concerted effort by the Indian Golf Union (IGU) and the support of the R&A.
The IGU council members led by Dilip Thomas who has recently been inducted as the vice-chairman of APGC and Gaurav Ghosh the chairman of Organising Committee of APGC played a pivotal role to ensure our players get a chance to compete on the Asian level at home.
Played for the first time in 1978, this tournament was the brainchild of Amalia Montecillo, who along with a few other parents started an association in Philippines for junior golfers.
With time, this tournament has attracted the most talented golfers from a large number of countries.
It is presently one of the very few tournaments in Asia that gives junior golfers a taste of some serious competitive golf. Close to 70 golfers from seven countries around the region will wear their country's flag on their sleeve as they attempt to play a major role in their team's success.
This tournament recognises both individual and team achievements, and there are many laurels to be won both in the Boys and Girls category across three categories. The tournament will be played on strokeplay format with the boys competing over 72 holes while the girls will have a 54-hole competition.
The Indian team would fancy their chances with a strong team fielded for the tournament. Two of the four representing India in the Boys section—host City's Viraj Madappa and Delhi's Manu Gandas —have exceeded expectations in the recent past, stamping their class in junior tournaments as well as leaving an impression on the bigger stage.
While Manu is fresh from his victory at the All India Juniors, Viraj has been making ripples both in the junior and senior category. While these two youngsters will be shouldering the weight of expectations, they will find able assistance from two other talented kids—Karandeep Kocchar and Arjun Prasad —who together with Viraj and Manu make up the Indian team.
Thailand which has come with a strong 17-member contingent has traditionally done well in the APJGC and is expected to give India a run for their money.
The other serious contenders include Chinese Taipei who too have fielded a full-fledged team. Bangladesh, Nepal, Hong Kong and Sri Lanka are the other teams in fray.
The neighbouring countries like China, Korea, Japan and Thailand amongst others have produced a great number of world beaters in the recent past, thanks to a well-structured teaching development programme and it will be wonderful to see some of the future stars in action at the RCGC.
India has not lagged behind as the depth of talent on display in Indian golf is something that the Indian Golf Union can be proud of, and almost all the stars to who have emerged on the big stage in the recent past, have made their way up through the junior and amateur circuit.
With India going into this tournament as one of the favourites, it is just indicative of how far along the game has come in the recent past. Indian golf has definitely taken great strides and it reflects in the talent on display at the grassroots level.
Group A: Age group 15-17 (H'cap 9 or lower for boys & H'cap 18 or lower for girls)
Group B: Age group 13-14 years (H'cap 12 or lower for boys & H'cap 20 or lower for girls)
Group C: Age group 11 - 12 years (H'cap 18 or lower for boys & 30 or lower for girls)
--IBNS (Posted on 04-12-2013)