Arjun Atwal’s first professional victory – 1999 Wills Indian Open

Arjun Atwal’s first professional victory – 1999 Wills Indian Open

Ali Sher was the first Indian to win the Indian Open in 1991 and he won it again in 1993 and after that no Indian won the national championship for next 5 years until Firoz Ali won the Classic Indian Open in 1998.
 
1999 was the fifth season of the Asian Golf Tour and the second consecutive season of Indian Open being part of the Asian Golf Tour or the Omega Tour. Before the event two things had happened, first Wills came back to support the national championship (previously Wills sponsored the event from 1989 to 1991) and the second thing was that 1999 was the third consecutive year of Royal Calcutta Golf Club hosting the Indian Open previously, Delhi Golf Club had hosted the national championship three times in row (1971-1973).
 
The third event of 1999 Asian Tour season was Wills Indian Open and this particular edition had one of the strongest Indian line-ups like the defending champion Firoz Ali, Jyoti Randhawa, Basad Ali, Chini Ali, Jeev Milkha Singh, Indrajit Bhalotia, SSP Chawrasia and Arjun Atwal.
 
Arjun Atwal scored 72, 68, 66, 70 to win the 1999 Wills Indian Open at 12 under 276 and his first Asian Tour victory at age 26 and after the win India became the fourth nation to win the Indian Open consecutive times, previously Japan, New Zealand and USA had achieved the feat.
 
The 1999 Wills Indian Open will always be a special victory for Arjun Atwal as that win gave him a lot of confidence and Atwal would go on to play in the PGA Tour and win 11 international events, including 2010 PGA Tour victory in Wyndham Championship i.e., the first and only Indian to win in America’s PGA Tour.
 
And today 14th March, 2021 marks the 22nd anniversary of Arjun Atwal’s 1999 Wills Indian Open victory at Royal Calcutta Golf Club.


[COVER PHOTO CREDIT: ASIAN TOUR]
 

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March 14, 2021 - By Dhruv Trivedi

Champions for a Cause - Charity Golf Match gets a nerve ending finish at Delhi Golf Club

Champions for a Cause - Charity Golf Match gets a nerve ending finish at Delhi Golf Club

Four athletes from two sports (Cricket and Golf) came together to play an 18-hole exhibition golf match at DGC with a noble cause of raising funds for the frontline warriors of COVID-19.

Four players were divided into two teams for a charity golf match. Team 1 consisted of Kapil Dev and Gaganjeet Bhullar and while Team 2 had Murali Kartik and Shubhankar Sharma.
Now, team one led from start after both players of team two got bogey in the first hole for +1 while, team one was the opening leader by scoring an even-par and after the end of first nine, team two were leading by one stroke at -2 and team 2 was behind at -1. And the best score of the first nine was Sharma’s 36.

Both teams started back nine with a birdie, Sharma scored a birdie for his team and team one’s Bhullar missed the birdie and got an even-par so, his teammate Dev took the charge by scoring his first birdie of the tournament. For the next two holes, both teams were unable to achieve an under-par score as team 1 remained at -2 and team 2 at -3. In hole 13, team two missed the birdie and team one took the advantage as both Dev and Bhullar got birdies to move -3 and make it all square. In the fifth hole of back nine, team 1 came back to the lead after team one’s Bhullar got a birdie in par-5 14th. Scores remained unchanged in hole 15 because both teams got even-par scores.
Now, team two’s Kartik and Sharma were really struggling to get a single birdie in second nine and finally after six holes, team two got their second birdie of back nine through Kartik in hole 16 and this again tied the score at -4.
 
Last two-hole drama:
As we move towards the end, team two’s Kartik provided a great start by getting a birdie on hole 17th to move -5 and have a one-stroke lead over team one’s Dev and Bhullar. It was now or never for team 1 and boy they delivered as both Dev and Bhullar got birdies on par-5 18th to tie the score at -5 and now, the improbable happened, as both players of team 2, missed birdies in the last hole, where Sharma and Kartik got an even-par and bogey respectively.

The amazing pair of Kapil Dev and Gaganjeet Bhullar fought till the end and saved the match for a worthy draw. The legendary Kapil Dev was so focused in his last nine that, he not only got three birdies in it but also improved from his first nine score of 39 to back nine’s 37.
On the other side, team 2 had an exceptional start where they got an outright lead of one stroke in the first nine but in the second nine, fans didn’t saw the same intensity between Murali Kartik and Shubhankar Sharma and the pair had to settle for a draw.

The Champions for a Cause – Charity Golf Match was played on 11th July at Delhi Golf Club.

[COVER PHOTO CREDIT: RN SPORTS MARKETING]


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July 11, 2020 - By Dhruv Trivedi

Remembering Jeev Milkha Singh's fourth place finish in 2009 WGC-Cadillac Championship

Remembering Jeev Milkha Singh's fourth place finish in 2009 WGC-Cadillac Championship

2009 Edition of WGC-Cadillac Championship is known for Phil Mickelson victory where he won a WGC event for the first time in his career but there was one more player, who equally played well but his performance in this particular tournament was forgotten in the history books and he is India’s Jeev Milkha Singh, today we go back in time to relive golden moment of Indian Golf.
It was a beautiful Thursday morning in Florida’s Trump National Doral course where, after first five holes in WGC-C Championship spectators and golfers were surprised to see a golfer from Asia leading in an international golf tournament that to in world championship, where he got eight birdies and a bogey to a strong score of -7 for a share in lead in round one.

Round 2:
In round two’s first nine, Jeev continued to lead after getting two consecutive birdies on first two holes and a third birdie in eighth hole to a total of ten under and he got a good start in second nine with a birdie on the first hole and another in twelfth hole and until thirteenth hole, everything was looking good for Jeev as he had got five birdies to a total of twelve under but it was unfortune as Jeev got consecutive bogeys in 13th, 14th hole and a birdie on 16th couldn’t improve the condition as he again got a bogey in 17th, followed a double bogey in 18th which cut short his score from -12 to -8.
And after getting one under 71 in round two, Jeev was on eighth position on the leader boards.


Round 3:

Jeev Milkha Singh (Photo Credit: India Today).

Jeev’s performance in round three was up-down, up-down as he got an eagle on the first hole then a bogey on third to one under to two under after sinking a birdie then, he got a bogey again on the fifth hole to come back to one under and Jeev ended his first nine with a birdie on seventh hole to score of -2 and his round two’s first nine was like this eagle-bogey-birdie-bogey-birdie. Jeev had a poor second nine, where he started by getting a bogey on first hole (hole 10) but he fantastically recovered by getting an eagle on twelfth and a birdie on fifteenth to end round three on four under 68 and recovered from round two shock, where he went down from round one’s lead to eighth place in round two to third place after round three.

Round 4:
In final round’s first nine, Jeev got three birdies and two bogies to -1 and in back nine, Jeev got two birdies and a bogey to end final round on two under 70.
Total score of Jeev Milkha Singh’s four rounds in WGC Cadillac Championship was fourteen under 274 and he lost the win by five strokes.



Jim Furyk (Photo Credit: Golf Digest).

Jeev also lost his third place as he was overtaken by Jim Furyk on back nine of final day because after round three, Jeev was at twelve under and Furyk was behind him at eleven under and during final day both were going side to side until, second nine started where Jeev got -1 (two birdie and one bogey) to Furyk’s -5 (five birdies) and due to this, final score of Jeev was -14 and Jim’s score was -16, Jeev finished fourth on leader boards with fourteen under 274 while, Jim finished ahead of him with a two stroke lead and score of sixteen under 272.


Jeev Milkha Singh (Photo Credit: Golf.com).

Jeev Milkha Singh ended the tournament on high by finishing fourth in a stroke-play tournament of world golf championship, this is his best finish ever in a WGC event and that day, he made his fellow Indians very proud by his fantastic achievement.
[COVER PHOTO CREDIT: GOLF.COM]

March 28, 2020 - By Dhruv Trivedi

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