Thursday, February 16, 2017

GOLCONDA MASTERS 2017 TEES OFF ON FEBRUARY 16

          Prize Purse of Rs. 40 lakh

•          Field to feature Khalin Joshi, Honey Baisoya, defending champion Ajeetesh Sandhu, Mukesh Kumar, Mithun Perera, Himmat Singh Rai

Hyderabad, February 15, 2017: The Hyderabad Golf Association (HGA) and the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI), the official sanctioning body of professional golf in India, today announced the third edition of the Golconda Masters Golf Championship which will be held at the Hyderabad Golf Club (HGC) from February 16 - 19, 2017, and will carry a prize purse of Rs. 40 lakh. The Pro-Am event preceding the tournament was played on February 15th.

The tournament will witness participation by 126 leading golfers, mostly from India, and few from countries such as Sri Lanka and Australia. The top Indian professionals in the fray include Khalin Joshi, Honey Baisoya (2017 PGTI Order of Merit leader), former champions Ajeetesh Sandhu (2016) and Harendra Gupta (2015), Mukesh Kumar, Shamim Khan, Shankar Das, Himmat Singh Rai and Udayan Mane, to name a few. The foreign challenge will be led by the Sri Lankan quartet of Mithun Perera, Anura Rohana, N Thangaraja and K Prabagaran as well as Australia’s Kunal Bhasin.

The host city of Hyderabad will be represented by professional Haider Hussain and six amateurs, namely Anantha Sridhar Reddy, C Rohan Reddy, K Shashidhar Reddy, Hardik Chawda, Rahul Ajay and Sankeerth Nidadavolu.

Mr. J Vikramdev Rao, President, HGA, said, “We are proud indeed to host this prestigious tournament at HGA’s heritage golf course, that’s as challenging as it is beautiful. It’s only fitting that the country’s top golfers will match their skills while soaking in some of the most spectacular historical beauty Telangana has to offer.”

Mr. C Dayakar Reddy, Captain, HGA, said, “We welcome professionals from all over India and overseas for the third edition of the Golconda Masters. The strong field, the immaculate course conditions at the HGC and the impressive prize purse make for a fascinating week of golf. The tournament provides much-needed exposure to local talent which in turn will help us produce champions from Hyderabad and the rest of Telangana in the coming years. We wish the players all the best.”

Mr. Srikanth Rao, Hon. Secretary, HGA, said, “We look forward to building on our partnership with PGTI in the coming years in order to further grow professional golf in Hyderabad and the rest of Telangana. The staging of events such as the Golconda Masters gives us the platform to showcase the HGC and its distinct features to golf lovers across the country. This is an important step towards promoting the HGC as a popular golfing destination in India.”

Mr. Uttam Singh Mundy, Director, PGTI, said, “We’re delighted to be back at the Hyderabad Golf Club, one of the top championship venues in the country, for the third edition of the Golconda Masters. The Golconda Masters is today a premier tournament on the PGTI calendar and the 2017 edition which has attracted India’s leading talent will only help the event grow further. We seek to further popularize golf in the sports-loving city of Hyderabad and the state of Telangana in partnership with the HGA in the coming years.”

Promoted by the Telangana Tourism Development Corporation and the Hyderabad Golf Association (HGA), the 212-acre expanse provides an 18-hole, 6200 yard, par-71 layout that also features a floodlit driving range, a pro shop, a golf fitting shop, and training & practice facilities. A modern clubhouse with dining hall, lounge, open deck, change rooms, and trained staff is also in place.

The mission of the project is to set up an international standard golf course, a golf training academy and to put Hyderabad on the International Golfing map.  The ‘Best Tourism Friendly Golf Course’ award bestowed on it by National Tourism, reiterates the pleasant experience that HGA provides. The Hyderabad Golf Club offers 18 challenging holes that bring players up close with the heritage and beauty of the Deccan hinterland - Golconda Fort and Naya Quila in particular.

Ajeetesh Sandhu, whose team incidentally also won the Pro-Am event on Wednesday, was excited about returning to the HGC to defend his crown. Sandhu said, “It’s great to be back at the HGC since I have a lot of good memories of the course from last year. I hope I can have another good week here. We have a strong field yet again so it promises to be a good contest. An all-round game is required to do well at the HGC so it will be a test for all the professionals.”

Pro-Am results

Professional Ajeetesh Sandhu of Chandigarh and his team comprising of amateurs Mr. Ajay Reddy, Mr. Agastya Reddy and Mr. Sanjay Pulla Reddy won the Pro-Am event held at the HGC on Wednesday with a score of 51.8.

Mhow-based professional Mukesh Kumar and his team comprising of amateurs Mr. Ranga Raju K, Mr. Bhanuprakash and Dr. Giridhar Thota were the runners-up at the Pro-Am with a score of 52.

The prize for the longest drive on hole no. 13 went to Mr. Madhav Kota who landed it at a distance of 272 yards.

The contest for the closest to the pin on hole no. 7 was won by Mr. Rohan Reddy who landed it within two feet and five inches of the pin.

Mr. Arjun Pradipak won the contest for the straightest drive on hole no. 3. His drive landed within one foot and 11 inches of the centre of the fairway.

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