Indian professional golf tour, PGTI, to be eligible for world ranking points
The Indian domestic golf tour received a shot in the arm on Friday with the announcement that Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) events will be eligible for official world ranking points.
The decision was ratified by the Official World Golf Ranking board, which met here during the Open Championship on Tuesday.
Starting January 1, 2019 every PGTI tournament winner will get five points and runner-up three points with the top five players getting a share of points.
Also getting the nod was the All Thailand Golf Tour and Japan’s Abema Tour, the development circuit of the Japan Golf Tour.
The announcement will have huge ramifications in the way the game is played in the country. It also comes at a great time, ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Golf is part of the Games and players can only qualify on the basis of their world ranking points.
A delighted Uttam Singh Mundy, CEO of PGTI, said: “This is a significant development for Indian professional golf. We have worked very hard on this for the past 18 months or two years, and we are extremely happy to have received the support of all the major tours in the world.
“I have to thank the Asian Tour for proposing our name and helping us through the entire process. This is not just good for our playing members, but also gives a very valid reason for the sponsors to come forward and develop the game.”
Speaking on behalf of the players, Shubhankar Sharma, who made the cut at the Open, said: “It’s fabulous. Last year was the first time they opened the membership (to foreign players), and I was all for it.
“India has some great players, and even the scores are pretty low in our tournaments. It’s truly one of the better tours in Asia now. So many members have come through PGTI, someone like me, and even Anirban (Lahiri), have played and developed on the PGTI Tour.”
Sharma is the highest ranked Indian in the world, at No 87. There are two others in the top 200 (Lahiri at 104 and Gaganjeet Bhullar at 57). Jeev Milkha Singh was the highest ranked Indian ever, reaching 28th in March 2008.