Reporting for an early morning tee-off is too much to ask of golfers Ashbeer Saini and Udyan Mane, it would seem.
If that is not the case, how can one explain their fashionably late arrival at the tee-box and India's subsequent disqualification from the 64th Singapore Open Amateur Championship?
HT has learnt that Saini and Mane, who were scheduled to tee off at the Seletar Country Club at 7:45 and 8:15 am respectively, failed to report in time as both players “overslept”.
Competition rules for the August 1-5 event clearly stated that players had to register 30 minutes before the tee-time, but the Indian duo reached the starter’s desk much beyond the permissible limit, leaving the organisers of the 8-nation event with few options.
Had Saini and Mane reported even five minutes after their scheduled tee-off, India would have got a start, albeit after attracting a few shots’ penalty.
The matter may evoke a few laughs but what’s perplexing is the Indian Golf Union's hands-off approach on the matter. Despite the international embarrassment, no action has been initiated against the two sleeping beauties as yet.
In fact, Ashbeer is no stranger to controversy. During the Asia Pacific Junior Championship at Manila in 2008, he was present when some players were caught while binge drinking in their rooms. The youngster was lucky to escape with just a warning.
Jaydeep Chitlangia, chairman of the selection committee, first denied India had sent a team there but later said Saini “missed the tee-off because of an upset stomach & Mane had stayed back out of concern”. Maybe the officials too need to sleep on it so that they can come up with a proper alibi.