Harjai Milkha leads, Nihal second on another good day for Indians at US Kids Golf European Champs -
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Harjai Milkha leads, Nihal second on another good day for Indians at US Kids Golf European Champs

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Harjai with his caddie.

 Khel Today Bureau 

Edinburgh: Harjai Milkha Singh proved he is a fine chip of the old block, as he finished strongly with three birdies in the last five holes to card 2-under 70 and take sole lead in Boys 13 Category of the US Kids Golf European Championship.

Playing in extremely cold and freezing conditions, Harjai, son of India’s golf legend, Jeev Milkha Singh, and grandson of the Olympic icon, the late Milkha Singh, leads at 2-under 142. With 72-70, he is two ahead of three others at tied second.

The Indians, who gained an entry into the event after solid showings on local Tours, had another fine day at the highly competitive European Championship. While Chandigarh golfer Harjai is in sole lead in Boys 13, another one from Chandigarh, Nihal Cheema, the youngest member of the 16-strong Indian squad is Tied-second in Boys Under 7. Bengaluru’s Adit Veeramachaneni is sole third in Boys 9 section. Vihaan Jain is Tied-fifth in Boys 13.

All three Indian girls figured in Top-seven. First day co-leader Mahreen Bhatia slipped from Tied first to Tied third with a 75 in Girls 13-14 category at the Royal Musselburgh Golf Club.

Naina Kapoor (81-85) rose from Tied-eighth to Tied-fifth in the Girls 11 section also at Royal Musselburgh Golf Club and Ananyaa Sood (77-75) slipped from Tied-sixth to  seventh in Girls 12 at Glen Golf Club.

In Boys 13, one of the most competitive sections, Harjai was 2-over after seven holes with one birdie and three bogeys, but a birdie on eighth saw him turn in one-over.

On the back nine, Harjai was in full flow as he birdied three times in the last five holes. The birdies came on 14th, 15th and 17th holes. With one more round to go Chandigarh lad, Harjai is two ahead of three others, American Colin McAskin (73-71), South Africa’s Jordan Botha (75-69) and England’s Kodi Dean of (77-67).

Also in Boys 13, Vihaan Jain stayed in Tied-fifth place with a second round 72 after a first round 72 as he dropped two late bogeys. The third player in the section, Srivastava was hit with a triple bogey on the closing 18th as he suffered multiple lipouts on the final hole and ended with a second straight 75 to drop to Tied-11th.

Nihal Cheema, stood out with a superb bogey free 4-under 32 and rose to second in Boys Under 7, where rounds are nine holes each at Longniddry Golf Club. Nihal rose from Tied-fifth to sole second at 4-under for two nine-hole rounds. The leader is Thailand-based Sean Wilding (29-37).

Bengaluru’s Adit Veeramachaneni shot a second straight 72 at Musselburgh Golf Club and moved up from fourth to third. He is five behind leader, Belgium’s Victor Bernardini (71-68) and one behind Russian federation’s Dmitri Elhchaninov, who shot 73-70.

In Boys 10 section, Vidit Aggarwal dropped from Tied-third to Tied-13th with 75-83, Manyaveer Bhadoo (82-81) slipped one place from Tied-11th to Tied-12th in Boys 15-18.

Harjai from Boys 13 and Mahreen from Girls 13-14 have also qualified for the International Team for the Van Horn Cup to be held after the individual event.

Results of Indian golfers at the US Kids Golf European Championships:

Boys section:

Boys Under 7 (Longniddry GC – 9 holes): T-2 Nihaal Cheema 36-32;

Boys Under 8 (Longniddry GC – 9 holes): T-21 Sahib Ajula 42-39;

Boys 9 (Musselburgh GC): 3rd Adit Veeramachaneni 72-72; T-15 Siddhant Sharma (80-76)

Boys 10 (Craigielaw GC): T-13 Vidit Aggarwal 75-83; T-45 Aarnav Patel 95-89

Boys 11 (Craigielaw GC): 47 Paranjaay Mahtani (102-98)

Boys 12 (Glen Golf Club): T-33 Rayan Sao (80-80); T-42 Devvrat Singh Rajawat (82-84

Boys 13 (Royal Musselburgh GC): 1st Harjai Milkha Singh (72-70); T-5 Vihaan Jain (73-72); T-11 Arshvant Srivastava (75-75)

Boys 15-18 (Musselburgh GC): 12th Manyaveer Bhadoo (82-81)

Girls Section:

Girls 11 (Royal Musselburgh GC): T-5 Naina  Kapoor (81-75);

Girls 12 (Glen Golf Club): 7th Ananyaa Sood (77-75);

Girls 13-14 (Royal Musselburgh GC): T-3 Mahreen Bhatia (69-75).

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