Tee-off: A toast to the Indian caddy | other | Hindustan Times
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Tee-off: A toast to the Indian caddy

It was 1913 when Francis Ouimet, then a caddy at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts, changed the way the world looked at those in his peripheral profession. Ouimet ousted Englishmen Harry Vardon and Ted Ray to lift the U.S. Open championship, dispelling notions of a caddy's inability to compete in the big league.

other Updated: Sep 01, 2010 01:06 IST
Tomojit Basu

It was 1913 when Francis Ouimet, then a caddy at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts, changed the way the world looked at those in his peripheral profession. Ouimet ousted Englishmen Harry Vardon and Ted Ray to lift the U.S. Open championship, dispelling notions of a caddy's inability to compete in the big league.

Fast-forward to 2001 and the DLF Golf & Country Club in Gurgaon hosted 12 clubs from the Delhi-NCR region who fielded four representatives each in the inaugural DLF Invitational Caddy Golf Tournament. On Tuesday, the club completed the ninth edition comprising 22 clubs (88 participants) from across the nation.

"This is our way to give thanks to the caddies who do so much for the game. We hope this tournament, the only one of its kind in the country, only grows in strength each year," said Aakash Ohri, director of the club.

The Royal Calcutta Golf Club (RCGC) from Kolkata emerged victors with member Raja Sardar picking up the individual winner's title after a play-off against Vicky Sharma of the Army Golf Club as both were tied on 75 (3 over par).

He earned himself a Callaway Hybrid golf club and a Hero Honda CD Dawn Deluxe. The team pocketed a neat Rs.40,000.

"I have been playing golf since I was 12. I used to jump the wall of RCGC and watch the players in action. I became a caddy when I was 15 and the club helped me grow as a player by providing the equipment and allowing me to practice. I dream of becoming a pro," said the 27-year-old Sardar.

Thirty-three-year-old Bapi Mondol, a member of the winning team said, "I earn just Rs. 3,000 per month but the members of the club helped me financially ever since I took up the club five years ago."

SK Pappu, who won individual glory here last year, and Samaresh Sarkar completed the side, which won comprehensively with a total of 318.

India boasts of aces like Arjun Atwal, Jeev Milkha Singh and Jyoti Randhawa but Tuesday's competitors are those who dare to dream beyond their means.