It’s a story of a 10 year-old who overcame heavy odds in the pursuit of excellence. Shubham Jaglan the son of a milkman from village Israna in rural Haryana, made India proud when he won world titles in successive weeks in the US recently. The double title triumphs at the Junior World Championships (San Deigo) and World Stars event in Las Vegas has shown that the little known Shubham to earn the tag of the wonderkid of Indian golf.
Shuhbham, who took to the game three years ago more by accident than by design, said he learnt the finer points of the game watching the big stars in action on Youtube. Hailing from a place like Israna which does not have a single golf course, he started hitting the golf balls with the club left behind by an NRI who was a golf enthusiast. “The NRI, who was a keen golfer, had come to our village for a couple of months. One day out of sheer curiosity I hit the ball with one of his clubs. At first, it did not excite me, but after sometime, I found myself hooked on to the game,” he said.
He credited his coach Nonita Lal Quereshi for constantly backing him. “Nonita ma’am has shown great faith in my abilities and has been very supportive. She also helped me make what I call the big move,” he said.
“The big move” came a year ago when Shubham was shifted to the Delhi Golf Club from his native village of Israna. “The biggest thing was to convince my father o allow me to shift to Delhi. Initially he was hesitant, but agreed after ma’am managed to convince him about the advantages of basing myself in Delhi. I began to practice at the Delhi Golf Club and it helped me to sharpen my game,” he said.
In the Junior World Championships played at the majestic Welk Resort – Fountains Course, Shubham shot a three-day total of seven-under par 179 to complete a one stroke victory over Jeffrey Yu Guan of Australia. He shot as many as thirteen birdies over the week which, even though wasn’t the most, demonstrated a consistent game with amazing control over his emotions under pressure.
Commenting on his victories Shubham said, “I am absolutely delighted to have won these two prestigious events. I had missed out last year by finishing second, which made me more determined to get better and win this year. The first victory gave me real confidence to go out win another one. I’m now even more hungry to go out and win more events and better my own self with every passing week.”
He did not taste a single victory and teed off at the TPC Las Vegas Angel Park, Mountain course for the World Stars of Junior Golf Tournament the following week. His three round total of two-under 106 was enough to wrap up the title by a commanding five strokes. His second round total of four under par 32 virtually sealed his victory as he recovered from being four strokes behind at the start of the day to being three strokes in front of the field by the end of it.
On her part Nonita Lal said, “Shubham is a wonderful kid to coach as he works hard. He has a steady head on his shoulders and all I need to ask him is to stay focused on his goals and the results will follow.”
Anil Malhotra, chairman, The Golf Foundation, remarking on Shubham’s phenomenal twin victories believes, “It gives us great satisfaction at The Golf Foundation to see one of our talents shine and make it on the world stage. What Shubham has done so far, and I really believe this is just the start for him, is truly remarkable as it is not easy to be away from home for long periods competing in such events and winning two of them back to back.”