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US Kids World Teens Champs: Mahreen takes joint lead, Kartik on fourth position

Pinehurst [US], July 29 (ANI): Mahreen Bhatia in Girls 14 and Kartik Singh in Boys 13 were once again the star performers for the Indian contingent at the US Kids World Teens Championships in Pinehurst. They were lying joint first and fourth respectively in their categories.

Mahreen Bhatia of India rose to the top of the leaderboard in Girls 14 with another fine performance in the second round of the US Kids World Teens Championships in Pinehurst. The Gurgaon golfer, who was lying third after the first round, carded a second straight 3-under 69 to take a share of the lead with American Maria Isabella Errichetto (68-70).

Mahreen and Isabella are now 6-under for two rounds with one more to go.

In the Boys 13, Kartik Singh stayed on road to a fine finish as he added 1-under 71 to his first round and moved to a total of 4-under 140 and was four shots behind overnight leader Thailand's Ajalawich Anantasethakul (65-71). Canadian Joseph Totino (70-67) was second and American Rory Asselta (67-71) was third.

Two other Indian boys Vihaan Jain (76-74) and Arshvant Srivastava (80-73) were trailing further down in T-39 and T-65th places.

Lavanya Gupta (72-73) was still Tied-fifth in Girls 15-18 but only four behind the leader Laura Sofia Espinosa Gonzalez of Colombia, who rose eight places after a second-round card of 68 following a first-round 73.

Mahreen and Kartik held the spotlight for the Indian team. Mahreen, who was second at the US Kids European Championships, birdied third, seventh, eighth and 15th and was 4-under at that stage without any bogeys. She dropped shots on 16 and 18 but birdied 17th in between to finish at 69. A win at Pinehurst will cap a wonderful year for Mahreen.

Kartik, winner of the FCG Callaway World Junior 2023 Championships, had five birdies against four bogeys in an action-packed round. He is fourth and four behind the leader.

In Boys 14, Ranveer Mitroo (74-73) improved three places and was now T-12 and the leader was American Aaron Didjunas (69-72). Tejas Mishra of India (76-76) was T-32 and Udai Aditya Middha (74-80) was T-46th.

In Boys 15-18 at Pinehurst No. 2 course, Ranveer Singh Dhupia (76-76) was T-55. In Girls 13, Asara Sawhney (83-79) improved to T-28 at Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club.

Ten Indians are playing in the US Kids Golf World Teen Championships and another 12 will tee up at US Kids Worlds for Boys and Girls six to 12 next week. Most have them have qualified through the Indian Local Tour or the European Championships.

The U.S. Kids Golf World Teen Championship is recognised as a ranked event for the Junior Golf Scoreboard and the American Junior Golf Association besides allowing the players to gain World Amateur Golf Ranking points.

World-class players emerging from the US Kids include the likes of World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler, two-time Major winners Collin Morikawa and Justin Thomas, Sahith Theegala among others while women stars include Lexi Thompson and the latest women's Major winner, Allisen Corpuz, who won the US Women's Open last month, is a three-time winner and twice runner-up at US Kids. Aditi Ashok, India's topwoman pro, and Avani Prashanth, India's top amateur also played with distinction at US Kids events.(ANI)