‘He is a keen learner and observer. His skill is his mental ability. He is always calm and composed’ said his father D. Sharathram
He is a shy young lad off the course. On it, he is a wily customer. S. Sidhartha quietly proved that when he walked away with the trophy for the Best Amateur Score in the PGTI Players Championship, which concluded at the par-72 Coimbatore Golf Club course in Chettipalayam here on Saturday.
The 17-year-old was the lone amateur to make the cut. He also finished his outing with a tied 22nd spot. Not an easy task though considering the strength of the field. Ask the senior golfers and they will tell you the true story.
He earned the ‘Club Spot’ chance from the Coimbatore Golf Club (CGC) for the PGTI championship. “He was a single handicapper. Maintaining a handicap of within five is something good. And, that’s how he sealed the chance,” said D. Sharathram, his father.
Sidhartha started his golfing career at the CGC as a seven-year-old. He showed tremendous talent. And, it did catch his uncle Ramnarayanan’s eye. He picked the little boy and put him under training. He started with the junior camp and played his first zonal tournament in the ‘D’ category (for the under-10 boys). He was only eight then.
Quite soon, he topped the South Zone list in this category and subsequently moved to the other categories and actively participated in the junior national circuit. He has played in almost all the courses across the country.
“Our late Captain K. Rajagopal was always a well-wisher of him. When Sidhartha was 11, he paired with him during a Club match. After the round, he called me and said, “you have a wonderful golfer in your son. He has a very good temperament, which is very essential for golf. Take it seriously and give him all the encouragement and support. I decided to do just that,” said Mr. Sharathram. “If he had been with us, he would have been immensely happy and proud of his progress,” he added.
Ranked No. 11 in Category ‘A’ (15-17yrs) in the merit list, Sidhartha has attended golf camps in Scotland during his summer holidays in 2009 and 2010. The young lad got to play in some of the finest courses such as St. Andrews, Turnberry, Royal Troon and Carnoustie to name a few during the training. It did help him hone his skills.
Even as junior, Sidhartha started to play in the amateur circuit. In May this year, he played the Usha IGU Karnataka Juniors at Clover Greens and finished tied third in Category ‘A’. He also played the regional pre-qualifier of the Hank Haney Junior tour held at the Clover Greens and qualified to play the national qualifier to be held in Delhi later this year.
Sidhartha is eager to go higher in the golfing arena. “He is working hard towards it. We are guiding him and providing him with enough opportunities,” said Mr. Sharathram.
“He is a keen learner and observer. His skill is his mental ability. He is always calm and composed. He never gets rattled. That will certainly help him,” he added.
Sidhartha’s mother Vidyapriya, a former national tennis player, has also been his source of inspiration.