Teen golfer Krishnav looks to add to ‘Chopraa’ legacy | Golf News

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PUNE: Krishnav Nikkhil Chopraa made a conscious decision to pick golf over cricket, despite a rich legacy in the latter, and it is beginning to bear fruit. The 17-year-old, son of former India cricketer Nikkhil Chopraa, capped a creditable outing as an amateur at the Pune Open with a hole-in-one in the final round of the Rs. 40 lakh PGTI Tour event at the Poona Club course on Saturday. Starting on the back nine on a cloudy and chilly morning, Krishnav found the flag on the par-3 16th enroute to a final-round 67 and finished tied 26th overall at 2-over 281. The week marked his maiden cut in only his second professional event. He missed the cut in his PGTI debut in the Jeev Milkha Singh invitational earlier this season. “There were two groups ahead of us on the course, so I sat down for 10-12 minutes, which gave me time to think about the process,” Krishnav said. “The pin was on the right (on the putting green) and the flag was behind the tree. I played a 9-iron and lifted it up a little higher. It was a high floater ball and I just wanted it to carry over the tree. “I just stuck to my routine, and the golfing gods smiled on me.” Sport is in Krishnav’s vein. His paternal grandfather Harinder Singh was a volleyball international. His father, of course, was an off-spinner and a useful batter who played for India in 39 ODIs and a lone Test. The famous surname proved to be both an advantage and a burden. And cricket’s loss is turning out to be golf’s gain. “I played a variety of sports – cricket, squash and football. I didn’t enjoy cricket that much,” Krishnav said. “I got into golf early. My dad is an avid golfer. He started playing after retiring from cricket and he used to take me along with him (to the Delhi Golf Club). “I started with plastic balls at the age of three and began playing competitively from seven.” The Delhi youngster admitted that constant comparison with his father was a factor in his decision to play golf. “It was because of the pressure. As a batsman, I didn’t want to be on the field for four hours to get my turn to play,” said Krishnav, who won the IGU Delhi NCR Cup Juniors tournament back to back in 2020-21. “At the same, I got the opportunity to play golf and started excelling in it at an early age.” He also competed in the US Kids Malaysia (2018), the Junior World Championships in San Diego and the Singha Junior championship in Thailand (2019). “Golf has matured me. At 17, travelling alone for tournaments, sometimes with a coach but without anyone from my family – I have learnt a lot,” he said. He might have moved away from cricket, but his father plays a vital role in shaping his career. “Both my parents have helped me become a better player and always supported me in the good, bad and ugly. “My dad is a very good mental coach. Whether I have a good or bad round, he always asks me to look at the positives. He is always guiding me to do the right things. “I have seen him evolve and he has seen me evolve. And I do get access to certain good things which other players might not. But I still have to struggle on the golf course. “I want to bring his name and add my legacy to it.”

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