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Cricketers bat for golf at the Louis Philippe Celebrity Pro-Am

By Chitrangada
LP Cup

Bengaluru, August 4: Kapil Dev, Shaun Pollock , Mahela Jayawardene and a host of other cricketers on Saturday batted heavily for golf in India at the Louis Philippe Celebrity Pro-Am. The tournament being hosted at the picturesque Prestige Golfshire Club marked the culmination of the USD 75000 Louis Philippe Cup 2018, a PGTI and ADT co-sanctioned event.

Delhi based professional golfer Rashid Khan, a two-time winner on the Asian Tour and the joint runners up along with Om Prakash Chauhan at the Louis Philippe Cup 2018 that concluded on Friday, led his team consisting of former India cricketers Ajit Agarkar and Murali Karthik along with amateur Faiz Rizwan to a victory in the Louis Philippe Celebrity ProAm on Saturday. Rashid’s team managed a total score of 51 at the end of the Modified Scramble format competition, to walk-away with the glittering trophies.

Speaking post his round former South African bowling all-rounder Shaun Pollock said, “It’s amazing to see how golf has been growing in India. The number of youngsters that I have heard of making India proud in recent times is just very inspiring. Starting from Anirban, Shubhankar, Rahil, Rashid Khan and the professionals who we played with today are just a small showcase on how much talent exists in this country.”

In the Modified Scramble format, also known as the Texas Scramble, golfer select the best tee shot, move all balls to that spot, and play individual stroke play for the rest of the hole.

Thrilled with his victory, former Mumbai and India fast bowler Ajit Agarkar said, “It was great fun to play alongside Rashid khan and Murali Karthik. There’s so much still to learn from the professionals. Just watching them play helps you learn so many new things about the sport of golf.”

Speaking further in favour of golf as a career choice the former Indian cricketer said, “Today was more like a team sport. Unlike cricket it’s different here. Here you play on your own. Both the sports have their unique challenges. Golf is a sport where you keep challenging yourself everyday. It’s no one else to help there on the course and that’s where it becomes a lot of fun. It’s heartening to see so many kids take up the sport of golf seriously and trying to build a career in it in India. We have had a lot of youngsters making us proud in the sport and I strongly feel it wouldn’t be long before we see many more making greater strides in golf from India.”

Among other stars that took part in the Louis Philippe Celebrity Pro-Am were cricket legends Kapil Dev, South African Shaun Pollock and Sri Lankan Mahela Jayawerdene as well as former hockey star Ashish Balal and celebrated commentator Charu Sharma.

Kapil, one of India’s greatest ever cricketers and now primed to represent India at the senior level in Golf, said after his round, “It was a fantastic experience to play here. Playing with Mahela and Shaun made it more special. The course was brilliant and the greens were playing good. Its tournament like these which make the experience much nicer where unlike cricket we get to play and meet and talk to many people from various walks of life at the same time.”

South African legend Shaun Pollock, an avid and capable golfer, said, “Good fun, really enjoyed being at the course. This was my first time at the Prestige Golfshire and I think this is the best course I have played in India so far. Playing with Kapil and Mahela was really fun. It is quite enjoyable to see their skills in golf too. In golf you can’t blame anyone but in cricket, it’s a team sport. There are a few similarities but it’s different because you have to work on your own game. And you have a chance to improve. I have played lots of pro am before. We worked together and we shot the best we can.”

Former Sri Lankan cricket legend also enjoyed his golf time in Bengaluru saying, “It was good, we really enjoyed ourselves. That’s the important part. Alongside Kapil and Shaun a bit of cricket banter and the golfing aspect all together. It’s a really good course. It’s quite different here. Lifelong we played a team sport. But here there’s no one to backup. We do this more for enjoyment. Compete amongst ourselves to do more better.”

Udayan Mane, who finished fourth in the Louis Philippe Cup on Friday, lead his team to a second place finish at the Pro-Am with a score of 52. Amateurs Saif Mekhar, Ritwik Jha and Srinath Rajam made up the other members of his team. Sri Lankan pro Aruna Rohana, a regular on the PGTI, led a team consisting of amateurs Vinay Lakshmisha Sal, Saaday Tiwari and Vedant Jhaver to finish third on the same score as Mane’s team but the latter won on count-back.

There were some more prizes to be won through the day where a total of 112 professional and amateur golfers participated. Murali Karthik in fact won a second trophy on the day when he landed the ball just 4ft 6 inches from the pin at hole six to claim the Louis Philippe Closest to Pin competition. This also carried a Louis Philippe gift voucher of INR 7999.

Namitn Gambhir won the Ballantines Longest Drive challenge with a monster drive of 314 yards from the tee at hole 13. Rocky Khushlani was declared winner of the Bio-Gen Straightest Drive contest, when his drive from hole four was found just 11 inches away from the straight line.

The Louis Philippe Celebrity Pro Am followed a day after Rahil Gangjee won the The Louis Philippe Cup golf tournament where 132 golfers from 20 countries participated.

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Story first published: Saturday, August 4, 2018, 18:51 [IST]
Other articles published on Aug 4, 2018
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