(Last Updated on : 31/03/2016)
Ashok Kumar, the hugely talented golfer who is billed as the future of Indian golf
, lent credence to his reputation when he jumped to the No 1 spot on the Hero Honda Indian Golf Tour Order of Merit for the first time within a short span of 21 months of turning professional.
Early Life of Ashok Kumar
Ashok was a poor boy from a village in Bihar. He came to Delhi
to earn some money for his family back home. He was 12 years old and missed home badly. The only good thing was his brother also lived in Delhi. The two lived together. Right next to the citys Air Force
Ashok began to visit the club to see what was going on. Very soon he found work pulling trolleys. At the same time, he began to observe the strange but exciting game called golf. It was only a matter of time before Ashok became a caddy at the club.
Along with the dozen other caddies his job involved carrying the golf clubs of players in the course and fetching the balls they hit during a game. He was a players shadow through sun and wind and rain. For all this, he earned a small amount per day.
Ashok also played whenever he got an opportunity. Until one day, when he was accused of stealing from the club and told to get out forever. Ashok was devastated. His job was gone, he was called a thief, and he would now never get to play again. That was when Amit Luthra came into his life. A well-known golfer, Luthra could not bear to see the state of the young boy. He persuaded the golf club officials not to take any action against Ashok and keep him on at the club. He even went to the extent of hiring Ashok as his caddy.
Watching him play, Luthra realized that Ashok was not just any kid wanting to try his hand at golf because he had seen others playing it. He was actually good at the game. So Luthra enrolled Ashok in the junior training programme at the Delhi Golf Club in 1995.
Golf Career of Ashok Kumar
The moment he cherishes the most as a player is not the time when he won his major title but when he finished 18th in the Hero Honda DLF tournament in 2002. It fetched him a pay cheque of Rs. 1 lakh.
Ashok has modelled his game on his idol Tiger Woods. Incidentally, Ashok had met Tiger when he was a caddie to Arjun Atwal
in Bangkok a decade ago.
Sports Career of Ashok Kumar
At first, Ashok did not perform very well. But hard work and a determination to do well kept him going. He began to win titles. People finally took notice when he won the 1999 prestigious Hero Honda Masters title in the beginners section. Following this win, Ashoks performance is getting better every day. He has also played tournaments in China and Singapore, and won.
PGTI wins (6)
2007 (5) SRF All-India Professional Golf Matchplay Championship, Solaris Global Green Open, IndianOil XtraPremium Masters, CG Open, Colorplus Open
2009 (1) SRF All India Professional Golf Match Play Championship
Other wins (2)
1999 Ericsson International Golf Invitation Tournament
2008 BILT Open Pro-Am
In the year 2004, Ashok Kumar won the "Hero Honda Golf Tour Order of Merit" for the 2003 to 2004 season. Ashok Kumar won again the Hero Honda Golf Tour Order of Merit in the year 2006 to 2007 under the name of the PGTI after recording 5 wins in 8 events played, where he finished in the top-10 in all 8 of them.
Ashok Kumar played in 12 events in the year 2008, but did not record a win, finishing in the top-10 eight times. Ashok Kumar added another win in golf tournament in the year 2009 in April at the All India Match Play Championship. He has a professional record of winning 11 times and has won six times the PGTI Tournaments. In the year 1999, Ashok Kumar won Ericsson International Golf Invitation Tournament.
In the year 2004, Ashok Kumar won the Hindu Open, Hero Honda Open and PGAI-TSM Open. In then year 2007, Ashok Kumar won the SRF All-India Professional Golf Match play Championship, Solaris Global Green Open, Indian Oil Xtra Premium Masters, CG Open and Colorplus Open. In the year 2009, Ashok Kumar also succeeds in SRF All India Professional Golf Match Play Championship and Hero Honda Golf Tournaments. In the year 2008, he won BILT Open Pro Am Tournaments.