Date: July 20, 2010

Queenslander Badhwar wins Callaway World Junior

Courtesy: Golf Queensland/Times of India Queensland state development squad member Viraat Badhwar, has registered a one stroke win over his friend Rico Hoey in the Callaway World Junior Championship in Mission Valley, San Diego. The 13-year-old, who became the first Indian to win a world junior crown, turned in cards of 69 and 71 in the first two rounds, and then sank five birdies and an eagle against three bogeys in his final-round 68 to total eight-under 208. In 2006, Hoey had beaten Badhwar by one stroke in the 9-10 division. This time the tables have turned in the 13-14 category. “I&aposve got to say there are no words to describe it. Just brilliant,” Viraat said in an interview with The Times of India “To have my name on the trophy with so many other players, like Tiger Woods, it&aposs good.” At 5-foot-11, the hefty Viraat stands a full head taller than some of his competitors. He can drive the ball 290 yards off the tee but has the maturity to switch to irons when the occasion calls for levelheadedness. Viraat was the number one golfer in his age categories in India but his father Varisht, a chartered accountant, made a decision to move to Australia in 2006 for “better golf learning infrastructure and a more competitive playing environment.” He attended a golf academy in Brisbane for the last two and a half years, and he believes the stint has done wonders for him. “I wanted to go somewhere with better golf courses and better fields,” said Viraat, who is ranked 11th in the Australian Junior Order of Merit. “Australia is just brilliant for golf, and my coach has changed me from an average golfer to what I am today.” The Badhwar family is now settled in Kelvin Grove, Queensland where he is a member of the Queensland State Development squad. He attends the Queensland Golf School of Excellence.