For over nine years, Millie Saroha and Raksha Phadke have shared a friendship that is still going strong.
Saroha and Phadke are senior golfers at Texas State. The two have been friends on and off the green since they were 12 years old. The two met at such a young age because they played the same circuit.
At the age of seven, Saroha was introduced to golf by her father. She and her father would go to the golf course to run around and play—until she picked up a club for the first time.
Saroha never looked back after picking up that club. It led her to start taking lessons from a top-level coach and play competitively starting at the age of nine.
Saroha has played at Texas State for three years. During her first season as a Bobcat, she tied for 24th at the Sun Belt Conference Tournament. In addition to competing in several international events, Saroha won the USHA West Bengal Ladies Amateur Championship in high school.
When Phadke was younger, she strictly played competitive tennis. Her mother is a national champion in the sport. Because of an ankle injury, Phadke’s grandfather introduced her to golf at the age of 11.
Phadke has been at Texas State since 2015. Before that, she played golf at Kent State from 2013-15. Before attending Kent State, Phadke was a member of the Indian National Team. In addition, she tied for 24th in the 2012 Callaway Junior World Golf Championships—the highest finish by an Indian golfer.
Saroha and Phadke have countless things in common, including the fact that they were both born and raised in India. Saroha’s hometown is New Delhi, the capitol of India.
Phadke is from Pune, a city in the Indian state of Maharashtra.
Playing at Texas State means the two are more than 8,000 miles away from home. However, the team and coaches strive to make Texas State feel like home for Phadke and Saroha.
“Everyone behind the scenes does so much for us and makes us feel comfortable so far away from home,” Saroha said. “That has made them our family in America.”
The pair has played together for more than nine years, all while motivating and supporting each other.
“We take care of each other and help push each other to become better players,” Saroha said. “We will talk about our college days for years to come, and that’s what makes this time so special.”
As two of the three seniors on the women’s golf team, Saroha and Phadke serve as leaders on the green. Guiding the freshmen in any positive way they can is important because they were helped and guided when they first came to the university. Although the two have similarities, they also have their differences.
“Both of us are leaders in different ways,” Phadke said. “We have different temperaments, which both come in handy at different times, so that’s a good thing.”
Of the four tournaments the Bobcats have played in this season, Phadke has finished first among the Texas State team in half of them, and second in the other two.
Saroha has finished in first, second, fifth and fourth among the Bobcats and averages a 76.58.
Phadke averages a 73.58 over 12 rounds.