Harpal Singh Bedi
New Delhi: Top golfers will be seen in action in the inaugural Rs One crore prize money Kapil Dev – Grant Thornton Invitational, slated from September 27 to 30 at the challenging Gary Player course of the DLF Golf and Country Club in Gurgaon.
Conceived on the lines of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, the event will pair professionals with amateurs, corporates and celebrity golfers over the final two days of a regular pro tour event.
The tournament will feature 126 professional golfers to begin with.After two days, the top 50 players and ties will advance to the final rounds.
At this point, the amateur teams, consisting of golfers, celebrities and corporate leaders, will partner with the pros in the final two rounds to compete for separate team prizes.
It will in effect be two separate events being played at the same time, the pros competing for the full prize purse and the invitees getting a chance to experience the pressures of professional golf.
“Jeev Milkha Singh’s invitational event (with TAKE Solutions) has stayed in my mind and when Grant Thornton Bharat agreed, I said why not have one of our own,” admitted Kapil at the launch of the Event here on Monday.
“The last two years have been rough for everybody and I felt it was worth the effort to try and build golf together. I would like to thank Vishesh Chandiok (of GTB) for sharing my vision of creating a truly landmark event in India’s golfing history.
Speaking at the launch, Grant Thornton Bharat chief executive Chandiok,said, “We want golf to become popular, inclusive and accessible to everyone.
“There is no one better than Kapil Dev to lead this tournament and create an inclusive platform for pros, amateurs, corporates and celebrities to come together.
“It aims to promote engagement between fans and the players – because golf allows this pro-am format and we intend to use this to strengthen interest in professional golf in India,” he said.
PGTI CEO U.S. Mundy said , “We at the PGTI are excited about adding the Kapil Dev – Grant Thornton Invitational to our schedule
“The tournament’s unique format is an added attraction as top amateur golfers will partner with the professionals in rounds three and four to compete for separate team prizes.
“This rare opportunity for amateurs to rub shoulders with the pros will add team spirit and camaraderie to the mix, making for a thrilling contest.”
The tournament is part of a strong second half of the PGTI season which has 14 tournaments with prize money of more than Rs 11 crore on offer