Pro Golf Tour of India launched

It is the best way to run a sport anywhere in the world, by the players and for the players.

Updated: February 25, 2007 11:37 IST
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New Delhi:It is the best way to run a sport anywhere in the world, by the players and for the players. That is exactly what pro golfers in India have done. It's not just a name change, the PGAI becoming the PGTI or the pro golf tour of India. There are already indications that the sponsors prefer it this way. The PGTI says the tour this year will be worth Rs 5 crore, almost double of what it was last season. The best-known golfers in India now aim to become the best golf administrators in the country. The newly launched PGTI has already announced six events for this season with prize money of Rs 3.3 crore. Tiger Sports Marketing or TSM, who marketed the tour for the last decade have now been thrown out. "TSM committed but never delivered. As players we felt betrayed. I feel they didn't do the job. Our body is by the players, for the players. It's like democracy here," said Jyoti Randhawa, Former Indian Open Champion. Backing of sponsors There is still a threat of a parallel tour. TSM are in court right now and claim to have the support of the caddie pros with them. However, the new PGTI is quite confident that the sponsors will back them since they have the majority. "Sponsors will realise that all the top players including myself, Jeev, Jyoti, Arjun, Rahul will play in the events being organised by the PGTI," said Gaurav Ghei, Winner, Mercuries Masters 2006. "We went out because of better prize money. But we will get the same here now. You don't need to go out. For example, in Japan, nobody goes out due to their well organised multi-million dollar events," said Randhawa. Kapil Dev, who is currently a director on the Asian golf tour, certainly played his part in this new development as well. He helped bring in some of the new sponsors. One of them is Gautam Thapar, whose BILT Open worth Rs 60 lakh will kick off the new tour later this month.

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