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On a ‘birdie’ in times of difficulty

india Updated: Aug 27, 2009 23:43 IST
Robin Bose
Robin Bose
Hindustan Times
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Notwithstanding the economic downturn which led to co-sanctioned events like the Indian Masters (put off to next year) and SAIL Open (it happened with a reduced prize purse) taking a hit, the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) claims to be grappling with a “problem of plenty”. So much so, it has had to take off a few events from the calendar due to the unavailability of “favourable dates”.

A case in point is the Kolkata chapter of the PGTI Players Championship.

Slated at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club (RCGC) in the second half of October, the Rs 30-lakh tournament is off on two counts.

“The Players Championship was scheduled at the Royal but with the TATA Open (previously held in Jamshedpur) moving to the RCGC, holding back-to-back events at the same venue made little sense. Also, there was no question of shifting it to the Tollygunge Club as it had hosted a Players Championship in February,” a PGTI source told Hindustan Times on Thursday.

Also off the calendar is the Indian Oil XtraPremium Masters.

Though neither the oil major nor PGTI were willing to comment, Hindustan Times has learnt that the Rs 20-lakh event, scheduled at Assam’s Digboi Golf Course in the latter half of October, was removed this year in the absence of “suitable dates”.

The Players Championship might not be happening, but the source said the National Capital Region (the venue will be a toss-up between Gurgaon and Greater Noida) is in line to host a year ender in December where the cream of the domestic circuit will battle it out for a prize-money, expected to be between “Rs 50-80 lakh”.