KP Singh, Kapil Dev, Vishesh Chandiok inaugurate the 2nd edition of the Kapil Dev Grant Thornton Invitational Tournament
By Deepak Arora
GURGAON, Nov 28: Chairman Emeritus of DLF Ltd KP Singh and Indian cricket legend Kapil Dev inaugurated the second edition of the Kapil Dev Grant Thornton Invitational Tournament here on Tuesday. First to hit the ceremonial tee-off shot was Chairman Emeritus KP Singh.
He was followed by former Indian cricket captain Kapil Dev. Next to take the ceremonial tee-off was Vishesh C. Chandiok, CEO, Grant Thornton Bharat. He was followed by Vinod Chandiok, Chairman, Grant Thornton Advisory Pvt Ltd.
Soon, thereafter, the dignitaries KP Singh, Kapil Dev, Vinod Chandiok, Vishesh C. Chandiok, PGTI CEO Uttam Mundy, Vice President DLF Golf and Country Club Tusch Daroga and Defending Champion Varun Parikh unveiled the trophy.
The ceremonial tee-offs happened at the DLF Golf and Country Club in Gurgaon. The tournament, sanctioned by the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI), would conclude on December 3.
Speaking to newsmen, a thrilled Kapil Dev expressed his heartfelt thanks to Grant Thornton for sharing his vision of growing golf in India and to DLF for hosting this spectacular event. “ As we embark on the second edition, anticipation is high, and excitement is double! Looking forward to making this edition another milestone in the exciting journey of growing professional golf in our country."
Vishesh C. Chandiok, CEO, Grant Thornton Bharat, said, "Our vision is to build an inclusive ecosystem of the various communities that shape a better India across government, business, finance, and of course, sports. The second Kapil Dev - Grant Thornton Invitational, a PGTI event with prize money of Rs 2 Crores at the DLF Golf and Country Club, is a premier and unique event that furthers this vision like no other."
Like the first edition, this tournament would see luminaries from business, sports, and entertainment teaming up with top professional golfers and vying for victory.
The tournament is even bigger this year, with a prize pool of Rs 2 Crore, providing an unparalleled experience of on-course hospitality, sporting activities, and an array of social events.
The highlight of this year's event is the introduction of the unique 36-hole Pro-Am Team Championship. Following Round 2, professionals who make the cut and top Indian Women pros, specially invited for the occasion, will be paired into teams, competing in the team championship alongside the professional championship. The tournament will feature the participation of top Indian and international cricket legends, who will play the team championship on Saturday and the ProAm on Sunday, adding an exciting dynamic to the overall tournament.
Uttam Singh Mundy, CEO, PGTI, said, "After an extremely successful first edition last year, the Kapil Dev - Grant Thornton Invitational, presented by DLF, has been one of the most eagerly awaited events on the PGTI this season. We thank our Vice President Kapil Dev and Vishesh Chandiok, CEO, Grant Thornton Bharat, for being the driving force behind the event.
He said “We also thank Grant Thornton Bharat, DLF and all other event partners for partnering with PGTI and making a significant contribution towards the growth of Indian professional golf. This year the enhanced prize purse coupled with the involvement of amateurs in Rounds 3 and 4, sets the stage for a fascinating week of golfing action at the world-class DLF Golf and Country.”
Tusch Daroga, Vice President, DLF Golf and Country Club, said, "We are delighted to host the prestigious Kapil Dev - Grant Thornton Invitational, presented by DLF, for the second successive year. An increased prize purse, the Team Championship and the many off-course events planned through the week, promise to make this a memorable event for players, our members and invited guests. I wish the players the very best and thank Kapil Dev and Grant Thornton Bharat for putting up another spectacular tournament."
In its second edition, this tournament serves as a catalyst for the game of golf. Through this endeavour, Grant Thornton is actively promoting diversity and inclusion in business and sports, towards shaping a Vibrant Bharat.
GURUGRAM:The Swiss watch brand, OMEGA hosted the second edition of the OMEGA trophy event at DLF Golf and Country Club, Gurugram. Coming together to celebrate OMEGA’s passion for golf and watches, the 18-hole tournament attracted seasoned golfers to passionate watch enthusiasts and saw the attendance of celebrated actor Abhishek Bachchan. On the occasion, Fredric Nardin, Vice President, Sales, OMEGA SA said, “We are thrilled to host the second edition of the OMEGA Trophy in India. India is a significant market for us, particularly given that its consumers have a keen sense of quality and heritage. With its emphasis on precision golf, it is a game that strongly resonates with OMEGA and is a part of our DNA. We are happy to be able to share our passion for the game with our customers from across the country.”...more
Rashid Khan, Karan Pratap Singh emerge clubhouse leaders on fog-hit opening day at Kapil Dev Grant Thornton Invitational 2023
By Deepak Arora
GURUGRAM, Nov 29: Delhi’s Rashid Khan and Gurugram’s Karan Pratap Singh emerged clubhouse leaders with scores of four-under 68 on the fog-hit opening day of the Rs 2 crore Kapil Dev Grant Thornton Invitational 2023 presented by DLF being played at the DLF Golf & Country Club.
On Wednesday, the start of the event was delayed by one hour and 45 minutes due to fog. Play finally got underway at 8:45 am local time. As a result, only the morning session consisting of 66 players could finish the first round on Wednesday as the 60 players from the afternoon session were still on the course when play was suspended due to fading light at 5:15 pm. Play will resume at 7 am on Thursday.
Rashid Khan was among the early movers on day one as he chipped-in for birdie on the second and followed that up with a long birdie conversion on the fifth. Two-time international winner Rashid dropped his only shot of the day on the sixth but came back stronger with three more birdies thereafter including two from a range of 15 to 25 feet.
Rashid said, “The weather was cold early in the morning today so the late start in the warmer conditions benefited me. Due to the delay, there may be a long gap before I play my second round so, importantly, I have to keep the momentum going when I come back to play.
“My short-game has been good of late and it came good once again today. I had not been finding the fairways in the last few events, but today I came up with some really good tee shots and found the fairways. Hitting accurate tee shots is very important on this course.”
Karan Pratap Singh, a winner on the PGTI this year, started from the 10th and was even-par till the third hole having made three birdies and three bogeys. Karan, playing at his home course, then landed his irons with pin-point precision to set up as many as four birdie putts within a range of five feet.
Karan said, “I got more time to practice my putting today due to the delayed start. That really helped me when I went on the course as I made a lot of good putts. I had the advantage of local knowledge as I play here daily. I landed the ball in the perfect spots in order to find the greens.”
Amardeep Malik and Kapil Kumar were tied second in the clubhouse with scores of 70.
Among the players yet to finish round one, Rahil Gangjee and Shaurya Binu were looking good as they were four-under and three-under respectively through nine holes.
Reigning champion Varun Parikh began his week with a score of six-over 78.
Aditi Ashok wins Ladies European Tour 2023 Andalucia Costa Del Sol Open de Espana
MARBELLA, Nov 27: Aditi Ashok showcased her game and grit, holding her nerves in the final holes to card a final round 66 and pull off an exciting two-shot victory over Dutch woman Anne Van Dam in the Andalucia Costa Del Sol Open, the year-ending tournament on the Ladies European Tour on Sunday.
The 25-year-old started and finished her season on LET in style, having won the opening event, the Magical Kenya Ladies Open, by nine shots in February. It is the biggest victory for the Bengaluru golfer, who pocketed a winner’s purse of € 97,500.
Aditi finished on 17-under par (69, 68, 68, 66 =271), ahead of Anne (69, 71, 65, 68= 273). India’s Diksha Dagar was tied seventh at 10-under (72, 71, 68, 67= 278), though she finished third in the Race to Costa Del Sol (LET Order of Merit) rankings with Aditi, who played only eight events, fourth. Thailand’s Trichat Cheenglab won the title despite a tied 55th finish.
It has been a brilliant season for Aditi with the changes she had made to her swing clearly raising her game to another level. Besides the two wins on LET this season, she was second in the Saudi Ladies International, third in the Lalla Meryem Cup, all in February, and won silver in the Hangzhou Asian Games.
Tied second through the second and third rounds, Aditi trailed Dutch playing partner Anne Van Dam, a five-time winner on the LET who led by one shot until drama unfolded on the 15th hole leading to a rousing finish under the afternoon Spanish sun.
Anne’s tee shot on the par-five hole veered to the right and settled amid stones next to a tree, forcing her to lay up on the fairway, find the fringe of the green with her third, and eventually saving par.
Aditi, flawless from tee to green, birdied with a brilliant putt off at least 17 feet to tie for the lead. Her precision off the tee on the par-3 16th then left her with a two-footer for birdie while Anne’s tee shot spun back to 15 feet off the pin and she two-putted for par.
The par-14 17th showcased Aditi’s skill and temperament. The driver off the tee and an accurate second shot left her with an 8-foot putt for birdie, which she sank. Her fourth birdie in five holes – she had five birdies on the back nine, including three in a row from the 15th to 17th – left her with a two-shot cushion going into the final hole. Anne was again frustrated after her 25-foot birdie attempt rolled to the left of the hole, leaving her with another par.
The drama wasn’t over. On the 18th, Aditi found the fairway rough to the right and landed her second shot on the bunker, leaving her with a tricky third to get on the sloping green. Although Anne’s second shot landed nine feet off the pin, she needed a birdie and the Indian had to bogey to force a tie.
But Aditi was creative with the wedge, aiming for the fringe of the green to get the ball to roll down the slope to three feet off the hole, sealing a great win.
“I started slow and missed some birdies, but glad it picked up on the back nine,” a delighted Aditi said after receiving the winner’s trophy. “It was a great battle, especially Anna when she plays well...she is a great player.”
Aditi added: “She hit the trees and I made a great putt. That was the switch moment. And I made sure I had a good look at par on the 18th.”
Hardik Pandya Moves To Mumbai Indians In IPL Trade Deal
MUMBAI, Nov 27: Gujarat Titans on Monday appointed Shubman Gill as their captain for the 2024 season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) following Hardik Pandya's decision to move back to Mumbai Indians.
The Gujarat Titans will receive Rs 15 crore from MI for the all-cash trade deal apart from a hefty undisclosed transfer fee, a part of which will also go to the cricketer.
Once Pandya's exit was sure, 24-year-old opener Gill was an obvious captaincy choice, having got the coveted 'orange cap' in the last season with 890 runs, second to only Virat Kohli's all-time record of 973.
"I am delighted and proud to assume the captaincy of Gujarat Titans and thank the franchise for their trust in me to lead such a fine team. We have had two exceptional seasons and I keenly look forward to leading the team with our exciting brand of cricket," Gill said in a statement.
Pandya, on his part, took to 'X', formerly twitter to express his emotions.
"This brings back so many wonderful memories. Mumbai. Wankhede. Paltan. Feels good to be back," Pandya commented on 'X' on a video depicting his entire journey for Mumbai Indians.
GT Team Director Vikram Solanki acknowledged Pandya's contribution to the team's success in then last two seasons.
"As the first captain of Gujarat Titans, Hardik Pandya has helped the franchise deliver two fantastic seasons that resulted in winning one IPL championship and one appearance in the final," Solanki was quoted as saying in a statement.
"He has now expressed a desire to return to his original team Mumbai Indians. We respect his decision and wish him all the very best in his future endeavours," the former England batter further added.
Solanki, who has closely worked with Gill, vouched for his maturity.
"Shubman Gill has shown growth in stature and standing over the last two years at the highest level of the game. We've seen him mature not only as a batter but also as a leader in cricket," Solanki opined.
"His maturity and skill is evident in his on-field performance and we are extremely excited to embark on a new journey with a young leader like Shubman at the helm," the head of GT think-tank said.
Thrilled to welcome back Hardik, says MI owners
Mumbai Indians owners Nita Ambani and Akash Ambani both termed Pandya's return as a "happy homecoming".
"We are thrilled to welcome Hardik back home! It's a heartwarming reunion with our Mumbai Indians family! From being a young scouted talent of Mumbai Indians to now being a team India star, Hardik has come a long way and we're excited for what the future holds for him and Mumbai Indians," Mrs Ambani said.
Her son Akash spoke about the balance that the all-rounder lends to any team.
"It is a happy homecoming. He provides great balance to any team he plays. Hardik's first stint with the MI family was hugely successful, and we hope he achieves even more success in his second stint," Ambani junior said.
DLF Golf League Season 2 Commences
By Deepak Arora
GURGAON, Nov 20: After the grand success of DLF Golf League, the much-awaited DLF Golf League Season 2 commenced today (Monday) with great josh. Twelve teams, divided into two groups (Group A and Group B) of six each, are participating in the Season 2.
Each team has 12 club-member players. The teams would play each other twice in the round robin stage. Each match will feature eight of the 12 players, who will play four matches in a four-ball better ball format. The top two teams from each group will go through to the semi-finals.
At DLF, each team plays five league stage games on the Gary Player course and five games on the Arnold Palmer course. The league stage goes from November 20 to February 29, 2024. Top two teams from each group would reach semi-final and the final would be played on March 8 next year.
The six teams of Group A are Golfism; The Legends, Golf Tigerz; Racconti Titans; Sultans of Swing; and Nova Mavericks. The six teams of Group B are Sol Golfers; Glenfiddich Antlers; DLF Eagles; Dirty Dozen; Goodfellas; and Golf Code.
On Monday (Nov 20), the match was played at the Arnold Palmer course between Golfism v/s the Legends; Golf Tigerz V/s Racconti Titans; Sultans of Swing v/s Nova Mavericks.
The first tee-off was at 11 am. Ishan Ahuja and Samit Kapur from Golfism played against Rishabh Periwal and Sukhbir Singh of The Legends.
Next to tee-off were Romi Malhotra and Vihaan Reddy of Golfism and Aamer Kandhar and Anish Dandwani of the Legends.
The next to tee-off were Vikas Dhull and Karan Chaudhri of Golfism and Rishi Narain and Armaan Anand of the Legends.
The next team representing Golfism were Raghav Bhandari and Akshay Awasthy and the players from the Legends were Naman Agarwal and Punit Beriwala.
At 11.40 am, it was clash of Golf Tigerz V/s Racconti Titans. First to represnet Golf Tigerz were G D Sharma and Daman Kochar and Racconti Titans were repsented by Aman Sawhney and Padamjit Sandhu.
The next to compete were Rajat Kumar from Golf Tigerz and Amritpal Singh and Amolinder Bal from Racconti Titans.
The next to tee-off were Piyush Mehta and Satya Yadav of Golf Tigerz and Sunil Bhalla and Karan Tayal from Racconti Titans.
The last to tee-off from Golf Tigerz were Sachin Mutreja and Sanjeev Datta and Rishi Parthi and Pradeep Kant reprented Racconti Titans.
At 12:20 PM, it was time for Sultans of Swing v/s Nova Mavericks. Prateek Bhardwaj and Harbir Singh Dhingra represented Sultans of Swing and Deepti Singh and Chirag Paul played for Nova Mavericks.
Next to play were Saurabh Uppal and Vikramaditya Jai from Sultans of Swing and Sandeep Gill and Amit Dahiya repsented Nova Mavericks.
The next to tee-off were Kanav Monga and Kartik Mohindra from Sultans of Swing and Amit Khansaheb and MP Singh from Nova Mavericks.
The last to tee-off were Abhimanyu Munjal and Sandeep Badyal from Sultans of Swing and Bhushan Kapur and Ashish Bhan from Nova Mavericks.
On conclusion of Day One, Nova Mavericks lead with six team points. Golf Tigerz earned five points. Golfism and The Legends were at four points. They were followed by Racconti Titans with three points and Sultans of Swing managed to win 2 points.
On the participation in the DLF Golf League, Sanjeev Datta, co-owner along with Sateya Yadav and Kanwal of Golf Tigerz, said “the league would help us build the camaraderie among different members, build on friendships and enjoy our passion which is golf. Its about spending good time at the golf course and having fun along with the competition.”
Sanjeev Datta said “we look forward to the show and entire experience of enjoying ourselves and having fun and yet competing.”
Sateya Yadav, also co-owner of Golf Tigerz, said “we are really excited about the energy, camaraderie and passion we see on the golf course.”
Sateya said “DLF League is such that it brings people together, it brings passions together, it brings energy together and brings celebration and all of it together. Of course, love for the game is paramount. So everyone is here to sink that putt, make those long drives, just celebrate each other’s victories and try for better excellence of the game. That drives us to be part of the game.
It may be mentioned that the legendary Sonu Nigam concert on October 27 was a vibrant kick-off to the much awaited Season 2. the charming Mandira Bedi hosted the grand affair.
The highlight of the evening was the genesis of the 12 teams participating in the league, each unveiling their distinctive jerseys, adding an element of thrill and competition to the atmosphere.
What made this night truly exceptional was the fusion of culture and opulence with an ethnic theme that enthralled all attendees. The royal buffet spread, featuring a variety of delectable dishes, left everyone's taste buds delighted.
The grand décor transported guests to a realm of elegance and tradition, setting the stage for a magnificent evening. Members and attendees were unanimous in their opinion – there couldn't have been a more splendid way to kick off the season. With Sonu Nigam's enchanting performance, Mandira Bedi's grace, the ethnic ambiance and the sumptuous feast, it was a perfect start to a thrilling season ahead.