Just a couple of decades earlier, it was a fairly common sight to see foreign players thoroughly dominate premier golf events taking place in India. However, with the game’s growth in the interim, defeating Indians at home has become rather rare.
“We have already sent a proposal to the Official World Ranking body for approval. I am sure we will get a confirmation from them in the coming year” — Uttam Singh Mundy, PGTI CEO
To some extent, players owe this development to the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) which, since formation in 2006, has grown steadily and now offers more than Rs. 10 crore in total prize money across 20-plus events. With the number of events, the standard of play, and level of competition rising every year, Indians are receiving great exposure at home before embarking to play overseas.
But despite PGTI becoming a member of the Association of Professional Tours, its events don’t carry ranking points — closing the door to top overseas players. Next year, that is likely to change. “Come 2018, PGTI will become an Open Tour. It means we will allow golfers from across the globe to compete in India. This would result in PGTI events carrying world ranking points. That will bring more competition and hopefully more sponsorship from the government and corporates,” PGTI CEO Uttam Singh Mundy told reporters during the Panasonic Open press conference.
(Read more in the December issue of Golf Digest India. Download here.)