14-year-old Noida golfer Arjun Bhati: My target is to be World No 1 and win an Olympic medal for India

Since he won his maiden junior world title in December 2016, Greater Noida?s may have grown only a few inches, but his confidence and skills are sky-high. On December 23,the 14-year-old triumphed once again at the Kids? Golf World Championship in Malaysia where he won the Under-14 group competition; two years ago he won the Under-12 title for the same tournament. The win has made young Arjun a part of an elite list of golfers who have won multiple junior world titles. And while the world lauds his achievements, for Arjun, these titles are merely a stepping stone towards his end goal ? being the best golfer in the world and making it to the Olympics. Arjun says given his past triumph, he was more confident of doing well this time. ?I had played against many of these kids the last time, so I was confident I could beat them. But I did not get overconfident. I kept my focus,? he shares with us. Arjun?s father Bobby Bhati works in real estate and says he had to save every penny to make sure his son could fulfil his dream of playing golf. He tells us, ?It?s a rich man?s sport and even clubs lene ke liye hi lakhon ka kharcha karna padta hai. It was difficult and there were times in between when the real estate market in NCR was down, and I thought I wouldn?t be able to afford it, but he persisted. I?m glad I supported him then.? The Class IX student at the Greater Valley School in knows that pretty soon, he will have to sacrifice some golf as studies get tougher. ?I will have tougher subjects and Board exams soon. So I know that starting next year, I will have to miss some tournaments and focus on studies more. It does make me a little sad because I want to play as much as I can but I understand that it is necessary,? says Arjun.
Arjun is closing in on a hundred tournament victories in his junior career, a mark no other Indian golfer has ever reached, but his sights are set on the senior circuit. He tells us, ?I haven?t decided when I want to turn professional but that is my end goal. I know my future is in golf and I want to represent India at the senior level. My only target is to be the number one golfer in the world and win a medal for India in the Olympics.? His father Bobby adds, ?We are happy that he has continued to dominate every age group. When he wants to play with the seniors is a decision Arjun and his coaches will take. But we are confident that he will dominate there too.? Of course, apart from the milestones, the teenager has a much more personal goal in his wish list too. ?My idol is Tiger Woods and I hope to be able to play alongside him once,? he adds with a shy smile.

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