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    Ashburn boy excels in golf at early age

    Sihan Sandhu has proven to be a quick learner on the golf course. Sandhu, a student at Sycolin Creek Elementary, also enjoys four wheeling and reading.—Courtesy Photo
    Sihan Sandhu

    -Age: 7

    -From: Ashburn

    -School: Sycolin Creek Elementary

    -Tournament Titles
    2012 Jekyll Island Cup
    2012 Seaview Open
    2012 PGA Golf Club Invitational
    2012 Monterrey Challenge
    2013 Copperhead Classic
    2013 U.S. Kids Golf European Championship

    -Favorite Golfer: Bubba Watson

    -Top drive: 170 yards

    -Other interests: Four Wheeling, reading about sports cars, airplanes and motorcycles and playing with his twin sisters.


    This past May, a 7-year-old Ashburn boy won the 2013 U.S. Golf Kids tournament in his age division at Longniddry Golf Club in Scotland.

    Sihan Sandhu shot 3-under par overall on his three nine-hole rounds to take home the championship. He competed against 36 golfers from North America, Europe and Africa.

    This wasn't Sihan's first time at the rodeo, nor would it be the last.

    Ruby Sandhu, Sihan's father, said his son's passion for golf started when he was just three years old.

    "I was practicing my golf swing in front of the bathroom mirror, and he came in and started mimicking me," Sandhu said. "I noticed he was able to get the correct form and posture naturally, something that took me years to develop."

    Sihan has since practiced his swings daily at a small driving range his father built in the backyard and at the 1757 Golf Club in Dulles. Since Feb. 2012, he has taken golf lessons from local PGA instructor Mark Guttenberg.

    Guttenberg said in his 36-year career, he has never met a boy like Sihan.

    "When I worked at clubs we'd hold golf camps for 7-year-olds, because they got the focus and the coordination to start," Guttenberg said. "But in terms of serious instruction, I usually shied away from teaching people that young. When I saw Sihan's swing, I could tell there was something special about him."

    Sihan began competing in U.S. Kids Golf tournaments in 2012, winning five regional championships and shooting the lowest nine-hole round (29) in U.S. Kids Golf.

    Sandhu said Sihan is very determined to do well this year, after placing at the 2012 World Championship in Pinehurst, N.C.

    "After he came in seventh, he said 'How am I going to be number 1 in the world?'" Sandhu said.

    Sandhu noted that while his son is somewhat of a shy kid, he changes on the green.

    "When he plays against a superior player, he steps up his game, but when he plays against kids not up to par, he relaxes a little bit and slips up," Sandhu explained. "But he never plays with any fear and he is confident in what he is doing. He comes out under pressure."

    During the summer, Sihan plays golf with his grandfather.

    "No matter how hot it is or how long he's been on the green, he never complains about getting tired," Sandhu said. "Most of the time, I got to drag him off the course."

    Sandhu said while his son's mind may change as he gets older, Sihan dreams of becoming a golf pro.

    "There's nothing wrong with that aim, but it is a very lofty goal," Sandhu said. "I tell him to focus on his school work, because you need the grades to play golf for a college."

    Sihan is set to compete in the 2013 U.S. Kids Golf World Championship Aug. 1-3 in Pinehurst, N.C.



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