Salil Khanduja guides his younger brother Avi on the links

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Waubonsie Valley golfer Salil Khanduja enters his senior year on the links with three varsity seasons of experience in his bag. After winning his third straight regional as an individual last fall, Khanduja continued his swing downstate, earning the third-place medal after a two-day round of 147. As he tees off this fall as a state favorite, he and an experienced Warrior squad are ready for an exciting season together on the course. Salil will also be playing alongside someone brand new to the green and gold, but very familiar to Khanduja as younger brother Avi begins his freshman campaign on the varsity squad. This Feature Story is sponsored by Edward-Elmhurst Health.

“We’re just excited to play with each other, and we feed off each other, and we’re pretty competitive. So it’s fun when we’re competing out here together for the school,” said Waubonsie Valley Golfer Salil Khanduja. 

“It feels like a lot of fun rounds at my home course just playing with him and having fun. It’s competitive, but in a fun way, like I’m trying to beat my brother every single time I go out there,” said Avi Khanduja. 

Avi is off to a solid start to his high school career. He golfed a 39 in the Warrior’s first conference match against Naperville Central and a round of 77 in the Vern McGonagle championship, which saw the Warriors bring home the trophy for the first time since 2019. The early season success doesn’t surprise big brother Salil, who had a standout freshman season of his own in 2020.

“I knew he had it in him, I played with him a lot over the summer, and I’ve seen him shoot some low scores, and our matches get competitive when we play. So I know that he has it, and he can play as well as he can, and he’s proven that here and can hang with us. I’m excited for his progression through the years,” said Salil. 

Brothers enjoying the journey together

The two have been golfing together for a long time when Salil is not teeing off for the Warriors or competing in numerous tournaments across the country. While each golfer is trying to outperform the other, the brotherly guidance is pivotal if Avi wants a successful high school career like his older brother. 

“He’s helped with my putting a lot, I don’t even have a putting coach because he’s helped me out so much with putting. Just great with controlling emotions on the course and things like that,” said Avi

“I’m always rooting for him, I always want him to try and beat me even though I don’t want that but as a brother and teammate, I want him to beat me, and it’s always great to see your brother play well. You’re always rooting for him, I’m his number one supporter,” said Salil. 

As we approach the halfway point of the boy’s golf season, the duo puts the Warriors and head coach Eric Foldberg in a great spot to return to state as a team as well. Salil will continue to golf his way to the lowest scores possible and eagerly attempt to capture the individual state title, which would be just the second in school history. With Avi on his side for his final year, Salil will use that as motivation for the rest of the season. What better way to do it than having your best friend cheer you on in your final season?

“I’m going to try and enjoy it. I know he’s out here playing his best, but I’ve taken a step back, and I want to enjoy it and have as much fun as possible and at the same I feel like that’s helping my scores a little bit too by just getting out here having fun, enjoying nature and having a good time with my brother,” explained Salil. 

For more prep sports highlights, visit the Naperville Sports Weekly page!