Whoa - the kid's got a little attitude - may even have the game to back it up
Victoria's Jeevan Sihota turns down NCAA golf to turn pro
The recruitment letters and calls just kept coming for Jeevan Sihota of Gorge Vale Golf Club. He turned them all down.
Eighteen-year-old Jeevan Sihota will be among the 99 players at this weeks PGA Tour Canada qualifying tournament at Crown Isle Golf Resort in Courtenay.
The recruitment letters and calls just kept coming for Jeevan Sihota of Gorge Vale Golf Club. It was a dizzying array of more than 60 offers, from most of the biggest-name NCAA Div. 1 sports programs in the U.S., all who coveted landing the most heavily recruited graduating Grade 12 Canadian golfer in several years.
Sihota turned them all down and will instead begin his quest for the PGA Tour by turning pro immediately on the PGA Tour Canada, beginning with the hometown Royal Beach Victoria Open presented by the Times Colonist from June 2-5 at Uplands Golf Club. Sihota is also playing in the PGA Tour Canada qualifying tournament, beginning today at Crown Isle in Courtenay, but has been granted a sponsor’s exemption into the 2022 season-opening Tour event at Uplands.
Sihota’s move is surprising a lot of people, including family members and others around him, who strongly urged him to take one of the many NCAA offers he received for a fully paid four-year post-secondary education worth close to, or into, the six figures. But Sihota took his high schooling online, to better build his life around golf, and the ivy-clad buildings, campus life, cheerleaders and football and basketball games mean nothing to him.
“I received a lot of NCAA offers, for sure, but none of that [campus atmosphere] stuff matters to me,” said Sihota, a member of the Canadian junior national team.
“I want to pursue my dream.”
But there is no guarantee all this will happen overnight for an 18-year-old pro rookie, who could end up spending more than one season on the PGA Tour Canada. Even a prodigy like Sihota, who made a spectacular debut last year as an amateur on the PGA Tour Canada by placing in the top-six in two of his first three pro tournaments, including tied for second in the Victoria Open at Uplands where he was followed by a large gallery.
Whether it’s a quick ascension from the minor-pro tours to the big time, or a several-years slog, Sihota said: “I am prepared for both scenarios. If it doesn’t go my way right away, I have many years ahead of me to make improvements. I am taking it just one step at a time.”