Chakola aims to turn pro by year end

For those of you who believe that Indian golf is all about Punjabi power think again.

Updated: March 22, 2007 06:37 IST
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New Delhi:For those of you who believe that Indian golf is all about Punjabi power think again. A Coimbatore lad has definitely proved that wrong on more occasions than one. One of the four factors that helped India give a silver winning performance at the Asiad was Coimbatore's Joseph Chakola. The turning point of Joseph Chakola's career was his team silver from the Doha Asiad last December, an event that's made the 22 year old a more complete player, not just for the competition but also for the experience of being part of a contingent that included Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes. "We met the tennis team. For us they are celebrities. But when we actually met them, they are down to earth as you and I, and the fact that we put ourselves in second position had people looking at us," said Chakola. Getting this far hasn't been easy for Chakola. He shifted base to Delhi three years ago to get his game in order. He didn't have a ranking back then, but in those three years, he has risen to third on the Amateur circuit. 'Great job' JJ, as he is fondly called, won two amateur national titles last season and is looking to take that forward this year. "I've targeted the end of this year. I want to go abroad for a few months and play a few international tournaments before I turn pro at the end of the year," he said. In the meanwhile, Chakola hopes to provide some inspiration to children playing in the South zone junior programme, a tour that was started in 2002 to promote the game among young golfers in the southern states. "He is hungry, he wants to get to the top fast and he has done a great job. Being from south India, he's the only golfer who has really come up from there," said Vikram Sethi, Chakola's Coach. It wasn't the dosas or the uttapams nor the mysore pak which did it for Joseph Chakola, but instead a hunger for victory and his self-belief that's made him among the top three amateurs in the country. But the Coimbatore boy insists that his journey has just begun as he plans on turning pro by the end of this year.

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