PGTI Season in Review - 2006-07: Dawn of a new era in Indian golf with inception of PGTI, Ashok Kumar dominates inaugural season with five wins
Indian professional golf witnessed the dawn of a new era with the birth of the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) in September 2006. PGTI, the controlling body for professional golf in India, was formed as a ‘body by the players for the players’ which was to operate in the same manner as most other international professional tours.
The PGTI was founded with Mr. Gautam Thapar (Chairman & CEO, Avantha Group) as its President. The Governing Board comprised of leading Indian professional golfers and eminent personalities.
PGTI’s main objective was to provide maximum playing opportunities for Indian professional golfers which would enable them to hone their skills and finally go on to compete at the highest level on the international tours.
The inaugural season in 2006-07 witnessed the staging of 10 events with the total prize money on offer being Rs. 4.6 crore. The first season held between October 2006 and June 2007 featured a host of new tournaments as well as some long-standing events on the Indian domestic tour such as the TATA Open, IndianOil XtraPremium Masters and SRF All India Matchplay.
Delhi-based Ashok Kumar dominated the season with five victories, including three on the trot and emerged Order of Merit champion as he ended up with prize money earnings of Rs. 44,17,875. Ashok won the IndianOil XtraPremium Masters, Solaris Global Green Open, SRF All India Matchplay, CG Open and Color Plus Open. He claimed top-10 finishes in all his eight starts.
Jyoti Randhawa was the other shining star during the season as he posted wins in all his three appearances. In other words, Randhawa went undefeated on the PGTI in 2006-07. He won the BILT Open (the first event of the tour), AIS Golf Open and DLF Masters and clinched second place on the merit list.
SSP Chawrasia and Harmeet Kahlon also tasted success during the season as the former bagged the TATA Open while the latter emerged triumphant at the Emaar-MGF PGTI Championship. Chawrasia, who had seven top-10s, secured third place on the money list while Kahlon took sixth place.
Digvijay Singh was among the most consistent performers with seven top-10s. As a result, Digvijay finished fourth on the Order of Merit. Rookie Gaganjeet Bhullar was a spot behind in fifth place in the season’s rankings thanks to his three top-10s.
Formed in 2006, Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) is the recognised official body of professional golf in India. PGTI's objective is to promote professional golf in the country, as well as to give players an opportunity to be involved in the decision making on all aspects of the game. Headed by Mr. Gautam Thapar (President), PGTI's governing body comprises leading Indian golf professionals. PGTI currently has over 300 members.
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