PGA of India formed under the aegis of the Indian Golf Union

 
50 PLUS GOLF Championship
 

A great 2 days of golf at the Rs 4,00,000 lakh 50 Plus Golf Championship organized by the PGA of India at the Unitech Golf & Country Club, Noida saw 50 participants from across the country and from neighboring Bangladesh take part in this prestigious Seniors’ event.

Former Asia Pacific Amateur Champion Vijay Kumar won the overall pro event surpassing the much-accomplished former top professional golfers of India. He had scores of 6 under 64 and even par 70 to take top honours.(64+70=134).

The top pro cheque of Rs 50,000 was won by multiple winner of PGA of India events Akbar Ali Mollah “Chini” from Kolkata by a sudden death play off with a two day total of 3 under (69+68=137) from Hari Ram of Kanpur (70+67=137).

The Leading Amateur gross trophy was a tough fight between Mr Vijay Kumar, Mr Gangesh Khaitan and Kapil Dev with the former prevailing with a 2 day record score of 6 under par. Mr Gangesh Khaitan came in second(72+73=145) with Mr Kapil Dev coming in third with (71+77=148).

Leading Amateur Nett was won by 5 times former National Champion Mr Ashok Singh Malik (72+68=140) with Ranjit “Kim” Atwal coming in runner up with scores of (70+71=141)

The other notable scores for the event were Asgar Ali of Kolkata (69+69=138), Ajay Kumar Yadav of Kanpur (68+70=138), Jumman of Lucknow (72+74=146), Shiv Prakasho of Kanpur(78+71=149), Md Abdul Qadir of Bangladesh (76+75=151), Balbir Singh Verma of Delhi (77+74=151).

The golfing Gods were present to acknowledge the Indian Golfing greats when they showed up to compete in the Inaugural Seniors’ PGA Championship of India played at the Classic Golf Resort on the 12th and 13th of Dec 2013. They provided glorious golfing weather, which coupled with a golf course in prime shape and the Seniors in emotionally charged high spirits, created a unique golfing environment and event.

Promoted by the Professional Golfers Association of India, the tournament with prize money of Rs 4 lacs was created to acknowledge the yeomen service that the senior professional golfers of India have given to Indian golf, enabling it scale the heights that we see today. And the senior players, of ages 50 years and above responded to this initiative in style.

58 years old Balbir Singh Verma swung his clubs like a young man and with two quality rounds of 69 and 68 won the tournament quite comfortably. His two day total of 7-under 137 gave him a 12 shot victory over Hari Ram who finished second with a combined two day total of 149 (73 + 76).

Hitting the ball long and straight and aided by a deft putting touch which he attributed to a new putter, which looks like a space shuttle, Balbir fired 6 birdies each on both the days and received Rs 50,000 for his winning effort. The length of his driving enabled him fly over all the hazards on the course quite comfortably, while the others has to deal with them, unsuccessfully at times.

The course was set up in a unique manner to allow for the different age groups which varied from those in their 50’s to some in their 70’s. All the players played off the White tees of the “Canyon” and “Ridge” nines of the Classic Golf Resort.  Playing field was levelled by giving all participants the opportunity to play from distance that are properly aligned with their abilities.

And Kapil Dev demonstrated this ability in good measure when he won in the amateurs category by birdieing the last hole. He required only 2 shots to get onto the green of the par 5 hole.  His two day total of 151 (75 + 76) enabled him pip Gangesh Khaitan 152 (76 + 76) by a stroke.

So while Balbir benefited tremendously thanks to his long hitting and raced away with the title, the other players were bunched together quite close and a keen contest was witnessed for the other positions.

The Kanpur trio of DK Verma 150 (76+74), Ajay Kumar Yadav 151(73+78) and Shiv Prakash 152(72+80) claimed the third, fourth and fifth positions respectively.

Amongst the well known players, Brandon de Souza finished 15th with a score of 161(81+80). Rohtas Singh showed a lot of courage by just showing up and playing inspite of a recurring shoulder problem and surprised himself by shooting two decent rounds of 81 and 83 to finish 24th with a score of 164. Digraj Singh managed a similar feat, but aided by the fact that he was perhaps the youngest senior there, shot rounds of 77 and 76 to finish 6th with a score of 153.

In the super seniors’ category which was for players of 60 years and above, Mohd. Abdul Rashid Langoo from Srinagar emerged the winner with a two day total of 159 (78 + 81).

The Pro-Am of the event was played on the 14th of Dec and 81 players showed up to compete in a modified stableford format. One unique element of the format was that the professional golfers also received a handicap based on their 2 tournament rounds. Teams consisting of a minimum of one professional in the four ball played the scramble format and perhaps the combination of so many unique elements contributed towards some very low scoring.

Shiv Prakash from Kanpur inspired his team of Col. Narendar Singh, Ateet Gaur and Capt. Cheema to win the Pro Am quite comfortably with a score of 48 nett (24 under par).  The runner’s up team was the team comprising of the Seniors’ PGA Champion Balbir Verma and amateurs Gurnam Arora, Sudhir Seth and M K Trisal who scored 51 nett (21 under).

All in all it was a tremendous and unique event which began with the new President of the PGA of India Vicky Shaw declaring that they would hold the event, irrespective of whether they had a sponsor or not, as soon as they got the dates and a generous promise of unconditional support from the Classic Golf Resort. And supported ably by his Vice President Romit Bose and Digraj Golf Inc, who also stepped in at the last moment to help out, they managed to pull off a quality event within no time.

With no time for a proper sales activity, Vicky Shaw and Romit Bose harnessed support and donations in various forms and somehow cobbled together enough resources to pull off a decent event.

In the Opening ceremony Vicky Shaw informed all those present that “within the PGA of India we have seen a new energy recently. We have been strategizing and have decided that henceforth, the Professional Golfers Association of India will demonstrate that leadership in the Indian Golfing environment which will help the sport grow and provide an enhanced livelihood and opportunities to all associated with it”

He also announced that next year, in 2014, there would be 5 events, which would perhaps be the first step towards a Seniors Tour. He also appealed to the audience to help support the players and the tour in any manner that they could.

The sentiment was reiterated during the Prize Distribution which preceded the Pro-Am during which the Honb’le Minister MNRE Dr Farooq Abdullah gave away the prizes to the Championship winners.

Another unique element of the event was the Acknowledgement Ceremony that was coupled with the Prize Distribution in which the PGA of India acknowledged those Individuals who have contributed tremendously towards the growth of golf in India, especially professional golf in India. They were presented citations and lovely shawls by Dr Abdullah.

The individuals acknowledged for their contributions were Rohtas Singh, Ram Dayal, Basad Ali, Ashok Malik, Vikramjit Singh, PK Bhattacharyya, SC Sekhar, Ravi Puri, Brandon de Souza, Rishi Narain and Digraj Singh.

Past presidents Pawan Munjal, Arvind Khanna, Siddharth Shriram, IVS Juneja and Manjit Singh were also acknowledged for their selfless service to Indian Golf.

The sponsors and donors who came forward to support the event on such short notice were also acknowledged with shawls. Companies and individuals acknowledged were Sudhir Seth of Sudhir Gensets, MK Trisal of Marathon, Gurnam and Satnam Arora of Kohinoor, Sangeeta Balan of JW Marriott, Mushtaq Burza of Ahad Hotels, DP Singh of Sara, Pradeep Jain of Silverglades, Latha Thomas of Destination Management Company, Arif Shaw of Shaw Art Palace, Rahul Khanna of Karma, Titleist, Col ML Sharma of Go Laugh, Mr. Gangesh Khaitan, Mr. Ranjan Bhattacharyya, Mr. Deepak Ansal of Ansal Housing, Dr Ridhwana Sanam of KRV Physiotherapy, Nikhil Mehra of Shantanu and Nikhil,  Ateet Gaur of Taylormade, Priya Puri of ITC Golf Resort, Sanjay Sharma, Romit Bose of Romit Bose Golf and Varun Khanna of Digraj Golf Inc.

The event concluded with all present stating that something unique had been achieved and started and it was heartening to see several people come forward to declare support for the future, with Dr Abdullah himself making financial and logistics commitments. Indian golf is certain to benefit.  


POS

NAME

DAY 1

DAY 2

TOTAL

PRIZE MONEY (Rs)

1

BALBIR SINGH VERMA

69

68

137

50000

2

HARI RAM

73

76

149

30000

3

D K VERMA

76

74

150

20000

4

AJAY KUMAR YADAV

73

78

151

15000

5

SHIV PRAKASH

72

80

152

14500

6

DIGRAJ SINGH

77

76

153

14000

7

AKBAR ALI MOLLAH -CHINI

78

76

154

13500

8

ASGAR ALI

75

79

154

13000

9

BRIJPAL SINGH

78

77

155

12500

10

RAJ KUMAR

79

78

157

12000

 

In continuation of our acknowledgement of the yeomen service that the senior professional golfers of India have given to Indian golf, enabling it scale the heights that we see today. The Professional Golfers' Association of India have put together the 2nd event for Professional Golfers aged 50 and above.

The course will be set up in a unique manner to allow for the different age groups which will vary from those in their 50’s to some in their 70’s in order for the playing field to be levelled by giving all participants the opportunity to play from distance that are properly aligned with their abilities.

The PGA of India is pleased to present the:

50 PLUS GOLF Championship

Prize Money - Rs 4,00,000 (4 Lakhs)
Venue: Unitech Golf & Country Club, Expressway, Noida. India
Dates: 1-3 May , 2014
36 Holes Strokeplay

Practice Round & Registration: 30th May 2014

Event Eligibility: Professional Golfers aged 50 years and above

A Pro Am event will be held on Saturday 3rd May where the Top 13 finishers in the event will play with 39 Amateur Invitees over 18 Holes at the same venue

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