India take team silver at Asian Games
India captured their first Asian Games medal in team golf in 25
years by bagging the silver with a sterling final round performance
Braving early morning drizzle and cloudy skies, India rode on the
consistent performance of Gaganjeet Bhullar and Chiragh Kumar to
total 849 points and pipped Chinese Taipei (850) by the whisker
to take the second place on the podium.
Korea, who made a clean sweep of all four gold medals on offer
from the golf competitions, aggregated 836 to finish at the top.
Japan, one of the strongest teams in Asian Games golf, ended up
fourth with 857, as none of their players broke par on final day.
The men's silver was India's second golf team medal in history
following the gold in 1982.
Lakshman Singh (gold in 1982), Rajiv Mohta (silver in 1982) and
Shiv Kapur (gold in 2002) are the only individual medallist from
India in golf at Asian Games.
The individual gold went to Kim Kyung Tae of Korea, who shot a
final round of 70 and a total of 12-under 276.
He was followed by young Pan Cheng Tsung (Taipei) for silver with
a total of 11-under 277 and he missed a bridie on last hole, which
could have tied him for first. Michael Eric Bibat (70) gave Philippines
the bronze after tying for third.
He totalled nine-under 279, but won the bronze on count back over
Choo Tze Huang (Singapore) and Kim DO Hoon Sr. Choo shot 70 and
Kim shot 72 on final day. India were lying fourth after three days,
but made a big leap on the final day when scoring conditions were
at their toughest.
Bhullar's individual four rounds were 70, 70, 70 and 73, the last
round being the only time he went over par. He placed tied seventh.
Chiragh Kumar (72) rose to tied ninth on a tough final day with
rounds of 71, 71, 71 and 72 for a total of three-under 285 in tied
Anirban Lahiri (69, 73, 72, 72) was two-under 286 and tied 14th,
while Joseph Chakola (73, 70, 70, 77) scored two-over 290 and was
"It was a great game, but I could have been at least four
or five shots better, I had a couple of poor strokes," said
an honest Bhullar.
"I messed up some of the easiest holes. I shot a 73 but had
five-under for four days. I made a bogey on ninth. But overall it
was a good game, but the opponents (Taipei and Japan) were not so
Bhullar was India's best individual at five-under and in tied seventh
place with a total of 277. "It is a turning point for all of
us. It was unexpected until we reached the final round.
"But I am happy that our team performed well under pressure
and won the silver medal," added Bhullar.
In the women's section, Meghna Bal, who turns 18 only on December
27, was the best with rounds of 71, 70, 70 and 70 for a total of
11-under 281 on a par-73 layout. She was tied ninth.
16 year old Vaishavi Sinha (74, 76, 75, 74) was tied 16th as was
15 year old Sharmila Nicollet (77, 71, 70, 81) at seven over 299.
The Indian women were sixth, as Korea won the women's gold, too.
Korea won at 534, while Japan was second with 547 and Chinese Taipei
third at 550. India's (570) was a fine performance by a team that
had an average of just 17 years.
December 11, 2006