Four days of intense competition at the Toyota Karnataka Golf Festival saw south India's top amateur golfers teeing off at the impeccably maintained KGA, one of South Asia's best golf courses. With close to 500 golfers competing for a spot on the Indian team for the World Golfers Championship and a chance to play at the Duke of Edinburgh Cup, this was South India's largest amateur event in a single venue. With support from the Department of Tourism, Government of Karnataka, the Toyota Karnataka Golf Festival aims to promote the state as a premier golf tourism destination.
The team to represent India at the World Golfers Championships in Durban, South Africa was selected on the basis of the golfers' performances at the Toyota Karnataka Golf Festival - India's official qualification tournament for the event. The Highlight of the competition was the hole-in-one achieved by Mr. Anand Kumar Aashiya on the 10th hole (150 yards).
In the 0-5 Handicap category, Jaibir Singh (Handicap 3) with the best score of 39 Nett points will represent the country, while in the 6-10 Handicap category, Toshiyuki Kasai, with a Handicap of 10, will play for India. In the 11-15 Handicap category, Shamsher Puri, who finished on top on Day 3 with 38 Nett points will play at the World Golfers Championships where he will be joined by V Munesh (Handicap 20), who scored 47 Nett points to ensure his place in the Indian team in the 16-20 Handicap category. In the 21-24 Handicap Category, H C Lokesh Chandra, playing off a Handicap of 21 earned his berth in the team finishing with 41 Nett points, the highest in his category.
The team comprising of Kanwaljit Singh and James Goh won a week-long trip on the luxurious Golden Chariot train, sponsored by the Department of Tourism, Government of Karnataka. David D'Souza finished with the highest gross score of 33 points for a chance to play at the prestigious Duke of Edinburgh Cup to be held from 30th of September to the 4th of October 2012, in Windsor Castle, United Kingdom. Speaking about the opportunity, Mr. D'Souza said, "This (the qualification) is a surprise. It would be a great experience to play at the Duke of Edinburgh Cup. This will be a great opportunity to meet golfers from around the world. Golfers as a fraternity are very close-knit; you may come from different countries, different backgrounds, but once you get on the course you are all equal."
In a glittering awards ceremony at the Park Plaza, Bengaluru, Mr. Hiroshi Nakagawa. M D Toyota Kirloskar Motor Pvt. Ltd. and Mrs. G Latha Krishna Rao, IAS , Principal Secretary Tourism, Government of Karnataka gave away awards to all the winners. With the names of the players already announced, the Indian team for World Golfers Challenge is looking forward the competition to be held between October 27th and November 3rd, 2012 in Durban, South Africa.
0-5 Handicap Category: Jaibir Singh - 39 Nett points; Handicap 3
6-10 Handicap Category: Toshiyuki Kasai - 30 Nett points; Handicap 10
11-15 Handicap Category: Shamsher Puri - 38 Nett points; Handicap 13
16-20 Handicap Category: V Munesh - 47 Nett points; Handicap 20
21-24 Handicap Category: H C Lokesh Chandra - 41 Nett points; Handicap 21
Spot in the Duke of Edinburgh Cup: David D'Souza, 33 points
Winners of the week-long trip on Golden Chariot Luxury train:
Winning team: Kanwaljit Singh and James Goh
Runners-up: Vittal Narayan and Angad Luthra