SHILLONG, NOV 11: Come November 16, Shillong will witness the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI), ‘the official sanctioning body of professional golf in India’, with the staging of the inaugural Chief Minister’s Meghalaya Open Golf at the historic Shillong Golf Course.
The tournament carries a handsome prize purse of Rs. 40 lakh. The event will be staged from November 12 – 15, 2014.
The Pro-Am event will be played on November 16, 2014.
The tournament, set to be the first professional event in Shillong in nine years, is expected to feature some of the leading Indian professionals such as Shamim Khan, Mukesh Kumar, Shankar Das, Harendra Gupta, Om Prakash Chouhan, Khalin Joshi, Angad Cheema, Manav Jaini and Abhinav Lohan, to name a few.
The prominent foreign players in the field are Sri Lankans K Prabagaran and N Thangaraja and Bangladeshi Md Zamal Hossain Mollah. The prize purse of Rs. 40 lakh will be the highest-ever for an event in the north-eastern region of India.
Padamjit Sandhu, Director, PGTI, said, “PGTI’s debut in Meghalaya will help create a platform for the growth of the sport and golf tourism in the region. We seek to build a strong foundation for the sport in North-East India with the staging of professional events. “
An attractive prize purse and a strong player field will generate tremendous excitement over a great week of golf. Sandhu said the PGTI sincerely offer their appreciation and thanks to the chief minister Mukul Sangma for his patronage and vision in supporting PGTI to stage the event and leverage opportunities for the state and the sport. He said thanks also goes to the Shillong Golf Course for partnering with the PGTI.”
AL Hek, chairman, appealed to the public to refrain from littering on the Golf course and play football on the greens.
Gaurav Bajaj, Organising Secretary, said, “This event will be a great turning point for the Shillong Golf Course. We have tried our level best to maintain the Golf Course as per the required standards of hosting a professional tournament. Our state will be represented by four local amateurs – Rahul Bajaj, Gaurav Bajaj and Anthony Hek and Jonathan Iawphniaw.
In the professional category –Jit Bahadur Chettri, Johnwell Momin, Jeevan Sharma, Gautam Lama, Roshan Lama, Naeed Akhtar and Kitrbha Warjri – will represent the state. Bajaj said, “I’m sure that with the response received in this event, the future tournaments will attract more sponsors and promote golf tourism in the state.”
Asian Games gold medalist and Arjuna Awardee Amit Luthra and junior world champion Shubham Jaglan were also present at the Shillong Golf Course on Tuesday for the promotion of professional golf in Meghalaya.
The Shillong Golf Course is home to one of the oldest golf courses in the country. The course is scenic and enjoyable and challenging at the same time. The course is set in an undulating valley covered with thick groves of pine and rhododendron trees. The tight fairways are difficult to negotiate in any case, but the task is made even more trying by the number of ‘out-of-bounds’ streams that criss-cross almost every fairway.- By Our Reporter