Viraj Madappa delighted the home crowd when he closed with a four-under-par 67 to claim a two-shot victory for his first Asian Tour title at the TAKE Solutions Masters. Apart from becoming the youngest Asian Tour winner from India, Madappa is also the first rookie and youngest player to win on Tour this season. He takes home a winner’s prize purse of US$63,000 and earned a one-year winner exemption on the region’s premier Tour. It’s been a tough journey. A lot of hard work has been put in from all members of the team. Madappa became the youngest Indian to win on the Asian Tour, beating the record held by Gaganjeet Bhullar who won the Indonesia Invitational when he was 21.
In 2018, he qualified to play at the Asian Tour through the tough qualifying school. It took him just 7 months to find his feet as he became only the 3rd Indian to win a title in his rookie year on the Asian tour.
He hails from Kolkata but is now based in Bengaluru and trained by Tarun Sardesai at the Tarun Sardesai academy. It was a big decision, which involved a lot of sacrifices. After graduating school, Madappa gained admission to the Texas A&M in the United States to study a Bachelor of Arts degree while playing on the college golf team in 2016. The young Indian, however, only stayed there for a semester before deciding to return home to play professional golf.
When it comes to golf, the Kolkata-born Madappa is possessed with the single-mindedness of a pit bull terrier. Take the story of how he started playing for instance. He recalls facing serious overweight issues as a seven-year-old and how his dad decided to take him for swimming lessons to the Tollygunge Club. Young Madappa just hated being in the water and would run to the 18th green of the club at the first instance to watch the golfers. It did not take long for him to be bitten by the golf bug. Once he started playing junior golf, then under the tutelage of Indrajit Bhalotia, Madappa knew he had to lose weight and improve his fitness levels. He went about with a vengeance. At 6ft 2in and built like a world-class sprinter, Madappa is one of the fittest and strongest players on the Asian circuit. The future belongs to him.
Read more about youngest players in India: https://www.bangalorean.com/sports/prithvi-shaw-slams-test-century-on-debut/