Mumbai, Jan 16 (UNI) Defending champions Bombay Presidency Golf Club will lead the city's challenge, along with United Services Club and Willingdon Sports Club as the three clubs travel to Pune to join Poona Golf Club in the 12th Grover Vineyards Inter-Club Golf Championship, which will be played on rotation at the Poona Golf Club on January 19 and 20.
Kapil Grover, Chairman Gover Vineyards today announced in a press conference that the event has now grown into the biggest inter-club event for amateurs in the country.
The championship will be played on a round robin Ryder Cup matchplay format and each team is represented by 24 players, of whom 21 play each day. From each club, three players play the singles, three pairs comprise the foursomes and six pairs compete in the fourball matchups.
The four clubs are armed with their best golfers, chosen after a rigorous selection process. The finest played, below 15 handicap for men and 18 handicap for women, will compete with each other in a format that is fine-tuned to an extent so that the best golfers can win.
On paper, Poona Golf Club is the strongest with 14 players with single handicaps. According to Grover, they would have been even stronger, but quite a few of their players will be away at the time of the tournament, participating in the Nationals.
However, BPGC captain A S Mann felt his team was the more balanced and would be favorites again to retain the title. ''We have traveled to Pune and played about five or six rounds there, so there is hardly any home advantage for Poona Golf Club. We also have some very talented and experienced players.'' Mann was referring to the likes of leading amateurs Amit Nigam, Nohar Nath, Shivas Nath and Ajay Patel, who have already helped BPGC win four titles.
The dark horses can be US Club, who have won five titles and have players like Col. N S Bains, Shreekanth Nagaraj and Yash Yadav, all single handicappers.
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