From UP village to greens and playoff wins... a caddie rises

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In the early 2000's, when he first arrived in Chandigarh, a young Harendra Gupta began to earn a living as a caddy at the Chandigarh Golf Club. Soon, however, the man from Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh picked up the nuances of the game and began playing golf in 2004. Harendra won his first title at the Chandigarh Golf Club in the same year.

On Saturday, with victory at the Mumbai Crompton Greaves Open in Mumbai, the 27-year-old golfer not only carved out the biggest win of his career but also pocketed Rs 16 lakh, the biggest prize money of his career. "When I came to Chandigarh in the early 2000's, I had nothing to do. Someone told me that I should work as a caddy to earn some money. And I worked as a caddy for more than five years. Today's win is the biggest win of my career. I was leading on the first two days and slipped to third place in the third round. The play-off against Rashid Khan was a tough one and I feel lucky to win the title. From being a caddy to being a CG Open winner means a lot to a golfer like me," shared Gupta, who carded 13-under-267 to tie with Khan before winning the play-off.

Hailing from a farming family in Gorakhpur, Gupta has so far won six titles, with two wins at the Chandigarh Golf Club. The golfer will play at the BILT Open before he heads for the Indian Open to share stage with the likes of Anirbhan Lahiri and Gaganjeet Bhullar, later this month.

A resident of Nayagaon village, Gupta wants to continue the winning run and aims to follow in the footsteps of idols Jeev Milkha Singh and Jyoti Randhawa and play in the Asian Tour.

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