Golf: Always an honour to play for India, says Avani Prashant ahead of top event in Australia

January 08 2024

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 On the eve of the Australian Master of the Amateurs Championship, to be held in Australia from January 9, Avani Prashant, the only Indian woman golfer to be ranked in the world top 50, said it is always an honour for her to represent India in the international events.

Avani will lead a four-member Indian team at the prestigious Australian Master of the Amateurs Championship and Australian Amateurs this month. The team consists of two male and two female players.

The 17-year-old Avani, who has decided to put her plans of turning professional on hold, will compete in both events along with Heena Kang, while Sandeep Yadav and Rohit will play in the men's category.

A two-time All India Amateur winner among women, Avani said, “It is always an honour to play for India. I have had some good results in 2023 and my long-term aim is pro golf, but right now these two events in Australia, which are very prestigious, are my focus. I have a lot of big events coming up in 2024, and hopefully, the results will be even better than 2023, which was a great year for me.”

The team will first feature in the annual Australian Master of the Amateurs Championship from Jan 9-12, 2024 at the Southern Golf Club. A week later the four will play at the high-profile ⁠Australian Amateur Championship at the Yarra Yarra Golf Club and Keybrough Golf Club from Jan 16 to 19, 2024.

Avani Prashanth is the only Indian to be ranked at the Top-50 of the world and has represented India numerous times and even won the Queen Sirikit Cup and was fourth in the individual section of the World Amateur Team Championships in Abu Dhabi, besides winning a professional event, while being an amateur, in Europe.

Heena, one of the two golf-playing sisters, Ceerat being the other, topped the domestic IGU Order of Merit for 2023 with a string of consistent performances and will wear India colours for the first time.

Among men, Rohit, who won twice last year in India and topped the IGU Order of Merit, and Sandeep Yadav, a consistent performer, will form the Indian team. Rohit was also the runner-up at the 2023 All India Amateur Championships in Kolkata. Interestingly, Sandeep Yadav won the 2022 All India Amateurs, the Indian Golf Union’s flagship event, which is more than 100 years old.

Heena, who is coached by Laurence Brotheridge from Leeds, UK, is hoping to make a mark in her international debut.

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  • IANS