G FOR GUJARAT, G FOR GOLF, G FOR GAGANJEET BHULLAR

Posted: October 30, 2011 in News, The NamoLeague Times
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GUJARAT KENSVILLE OPEN 2011 WAS THE THIRD INTERNATIONAL GOLF EVENT IN INDIA, AND GAGANJEET BHULLAR, THE FIRST INDIAN TO WIN THE CHALLENGE

G FOR GROWTH! Gujarat is growing at a rapid speed and that too in all the possible directions. Along with the truly vibrant ‘Vibrant Gujarat Summit’, Gujarat hosted the ‘Gujarat Kensville Challenge 2011’. It was the first-ever European Challenge Tour event in India, played from January 13 to 16 at the sprawling Kensville Golf and Country Club in Ahmedabad. This was the third city of India to host an international men’s golf tournament after Delhi and Kolkata.

Gujarat has emerged as a Global business hub and the International Golf Tournament affirms that the Golf culture in Gujarat is all set to scale new heights in the coming days. The Kensville is an 18-hole international championship golf course designed by India’s leading professional golfer Jeev Milkha Singh. Spread over 160 acre, the Kensville club has around 600 members – they belong to Gujarat, Mumbai, Delhi, Rajasthan, and South -Africa.

G FOR GOLFERS

The tournament was all glitters with the participation of one hundred and fourteen golfers. Fifty four from India and sixty golfers from abroad struggled for the top honors in the 200,000 Euros worth Gujarat Kensville Challenge.

The event was supposed to be flagged off by Jeev Milkha Singh, who had to back out due to back injury. In his absence, the Indian challenge was spearheaded by Ashok Kumar, who topped the Order of Merit in India last year, Gaganjeet Bhullar, who finished fourth in Brunei Open, six-time India number one Mukesh Kumar and Indian Open winner Vijay Kumar.

G FOR GLORY

The event was glorified with Amitabh Bachchan and Narendra Modi playing on the same field. Big B made his first tryst with golf after he inaugurated the Kensville Challenge. “Once I retire from making films, maybe I can look at golf,” he said.

On the other hand, Modi was a happy man with Gujarat hosting this grand event. He said, “Gujaratis don’t have sports in their DNA but certainly they have the ability to bring sportspersons under one umbrella. Though golf is a new game for Gujarat, it is gaining popularity among the youth of the state and could be developed for tourism purpose. I believe that soon there would be over 1,000 golf players from Gujarat.”

G FOR GREAT

Great seems to be a smaller word to describe the victory of Gaganjeet Bhullar. The man created a history by winning the challenge, the first Indian to win such an event. The murmur among the crowd who bit their nails to witness this historical moment, had to be controlled by the band playing popular numbers.

The 22-year old Bhullar hails from Kapurthala in Punjab. “I am very pleased to begin my new season with a victory. Even last year, I began the season with a victory on the Asian Tour but I cherish this moment as this is my first international victory in India. It was my father’s birthday on January 14 and I dedicate this win to him” confessed the youngster.

“It will take a while for me to digest this victory, as it’s a special moment in my life. Now that I’ve got a card on the Challenge Tour, I will have to consult my parents before deciding whether to play full-time on this Tour, as it would be a quicker way to step up to The European Tour,” added Bhullar.

G FOR GRADES 

England’s Matt Ford bagged the second position. Bhullar battled with his nerves during a closing round of 75, but his five-under par 283 was enough to see off Ford, who signed for a round of 70 to finish just a stroke behind. England’s Jamie Moul finished in the third place courtesy best-of-the-day round of 69, whilst his compatriot Matthew Baldwin took the fourth place at two-under 286. The only other players to finish below par were Bangladesh’s Siddikur Rahman (73) and Denmark’s Mads Vibe-Hastrup (72), who shared fifth place at one-under par 287.

G FOR GAIN 

Gujarat had a lot to gain, apart from being home to Gaganjeet’s victory. The tournament has put the state on the international golf circuit. The Chief Minister said that to promote golf-based tourism in the state, the Government has signed five memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with private players during the recently concluded Vibrant Gujarat Summit, 2011.

A huge round of applause from the audience continued as the European Challenge Tour director Alain de Soultrait announced during the prize distribution ceremony that for the next two years, this Tour event in India will also be held at the Kensville Golf and Country Club course. “It is a great achievement for Gujarat golf. The state not only hosted an international tournament to perfection but also got the European body`s approval for the next two years” appreciated Narendra Modi.

Ahmedabad already has five operational golf courses, one under construction and one on the pipeline. There are golf courses in Vadodara, Bharuch, Vapi and Rajkot as well. The latter two of course are private and small courses. Golf in Gujarat is sure to stay!

G FOR GLOBAL 

The global sport of golf is one sport which has many dimensions to it. Golf helps understand the human psychology more than any other game. A round of golf on the course is also a very good workout for young and old alike. It is entertaining as well: the dhoti-clad villagers at the Kensville and smartly turned out entrepreneurs enjoyed the game with equal fervor.

But more importantly, no game is more closely associated to business than golf. So in a state like Gujarat where entrepreneurship and business acumen are in the DNA, can golf be away for long? The European Tour event is just the beginning of a golf revolution in the state. More is yet to come.

Finally, a standing ovation to the G FOR GOVERNMENT as it not only became the main sponsor of the European Challenge Tour event, but the state machinery also saw to it that everything was in place for the smooth functioning of the first ever international golf tournament in India.

Read original article at: http://epaper.namoleague.com/EpaperArticle.aspx?title=G%20FOR%20GUJARAT,%20G%20FOR%20GOLF,%20G%20FOR%20GAGANJEET%20BHULLAR_439

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