India’s largest amateur golf tournament, the MercedesTrophy, teed off at the majestic Oxford Golf Resort in Pune.
The opening leg was a two-day affair and was conducted on January 4-5, 2018. From among 200 golfers who staked their claim to win the two national finals spots on offer, Sachin Gangal, who carded a nett score of 70.6, and former naval officer Rajiv Pusalkar qualified. Oxford Golf Resort will also host the National Final to be held from April 4-6.
From Pune, the tournament moved to the pristine Kalhaar Blues & Greens for the Ahmedabad leg on January 6.
96 golfers teed off to try and win the sole qualifying spot with Amit Shah emerging victorious, carding a nett score of 73.6. A delighted Shah said, “It is the best day of my life and winning a MercedesTrophy qualifier means a lot to me. I didn’t think I was going to win this but by god’s grace it was my day and I played well.”
Bombay Presidency Golf Club (BPGC) hosted the Mumbai leg from January 10-12, with two qualification slots on offer on each day, and the venue saw as many as 300 golfers participate.
Day 1 winners were Bollywood star R Madhavan and Aman Tarangi, who turned in nett scores of 69.6 and 70.2 respectively. Paresh Kapashi (68) and Rajesh Natarajan (71.8) were the victors on Day 2, while Jaideep Singh (68.4) and Jaysinh Dave (72) clinched the last two qualifying spots on Day 3. The event will next head to Bengaluru, followed by Hyderabad, Coimbatore, Kolkata, Chennai, Chandigarh, Delhi and Jaipur.
This year, MercedesTrophy aims to give back to the society. Mercedes-Benz India and Laureus Foundation have joined hands to raise money to help shape the future of underprivileged children. The players’ donations will be matched by Mercedes-Benz India and the proceeds will be used to fund development programmes by Laureus-supported India-based NGO, Magic Bus.
(Read more in the February issue of Golf Digest India. Download here.)