Aditi Ashok and SSP Chawrasia, the reigning men’s and women’s Indian Open champions, have been recommended for the Arjuna Award by the Indian Golf Union, PTI reported.
The IGU has also put forward leading coach Vijay Divecha’s name for Dronacharya Award and Mukesh Kumar has been recommended for ‘Lifetime Achievement’ Award.
Mukesh, who has more than 100 domestic titles, had won the Asian Tour titles in December at the age of 51.
Satish Aparajit, President of the Indian Golf Union, said both Chawrasia and Aditi had splendid season and they did “wonders for Indian golf”.
“SSP won the prestigious Indian Open twice in succession apart from another win in the Philippines. He won three times in a space of 13 months in 2016-16 and has been among the leading Asian golfers for last three years. He is easily the most deserving for the award,” said Aparajit.
“Aditi, in her first year as a pro, won two titles, including Hero Women’s Indian Open on Asian and Ladies European Tour besides another title in Qatar. She was also second on the Order of Merit,” he added.
Both Chawrasia and Aditi had represented India at the Rio Olympic Games last year. Chawrasia also represented India at the World Cup in Australia and played for Team Asia at the EurAsia Cup in Malaysia.
Divecha, the coach of India’s top golfer in US Tour Anirban Lahiri, also coaches many other leading Indian golfers including S Chikkarangappa and Udayan Mane, besides a number of youngsters.
Mukesh Kumar, at 50-plus, is the most successful Indian golfer on domestic circuit with over 120 titles. Last year he became the oldest ever to win on the Asian Tour when he bagged the Panasonic Open at New Delhi.
The last Arjuna Award for golf was given in 2014 and it went to Anirban Lahiri.