New Delhi, 22-03-2022
Golf legend Gary Player unveils Trophy for The DGC Open presented by Mastercard
The stage is set for the inaugural edition of the DGC Open presented by Mastercard with the nine-time Major winner, Gary Player, unveiling the glittering trophy for the event to be co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI). The trophy, which will be presented to the winner of the $500,000 tournament, is a replica of the iconic clubhouse of the Delhi Golf Club.
The inaugural event of the Asian Tour will be played at the iconic Lodhi Course Delhi Golf Club from March 24 to 27 with the traditional Pro-AM on March 23.
Present at the unveiling alongside Gary Player, were Manjit Singh, President of the DGC, Maj Gen (Retd) Anil Dere, Manasi Narasimhan, Vice President & Head, Marketing & Communication, South Asia, Mastercard, Uttam Singh Mundy, CEO, PGTI and Unho Park, Senior Manager, Tour & Player Affairs, Asian Tour.
Representing the players were multiple Asian Tour winner Shiv Kapur and Viraj Madappa, who won the first pro event on the redesigned DGC layout last year, which was part of the PGTI schedule.
Speaking on the occasion, the legendary South African lauded the hard work and preparations put in by the Delhi Golf Club for the event that will see a top-class field of 132 do battle for the $90,000 top prize.
Player, 86, and the one of the fittest ever players the game has seen, was also the man who renovated the course, which in the 1970s was designed by his friend and five-time Open winner, the late Peter Thomson.
Seeing the course become ready for an international tournament for the first time post its redesign, Player himself was delighted at the transformation carried out by his company. “I would give this course a nine out of 10,” said the man while talking about the fabled Lodhi Course at the DGC.
He added, “Overall I am very happy at the way the redevelopment has gone. I must also compliment the committee and members of the Club for the way they have maintained and utilised the course. This is a historic venue and one always feels hesitant about tweaking a classic course too much, but in this case, it has worked out very well.”
Manjit Singh, President, The Delhi Golf Club, and a former India No. 1 amateur, added, “I must say we are pleased and honoured to be not only hosting the inaugural edition of The DGC Open but to also welcome a great golfer like Mr Player to our club. His company has done an outstanding job of renovating and improving our Lodhi Course which has hosted so many important moments in Indian golfing history.”
Gary Player also paid tribute to the Late Mr. Siddharth Shriram, who first contacted him for the renovation of the course and Manjit Singh, added that a ‘DGC Open’ was first conceptualised more than five years ago by Mr. Shriram and he was happy that it has finally become a reality.
Manasi Narasimhan, Vice President & Head, Marketing & Communication, South Asia, Mastercard said that the company has been already sponsoring events in some other parts of the world like the Arnold Palmer Invitational in US, The Open in UK and the Japan Championship, and added that Mastercard is happy to be presenting The DGC Open. She welcomed Gary Player to the event and also wished the players the very best in their endeavour to win the new trophy especially crafted for the event.
Kapur said, “As everyone knows, the DGC is like my home, or the second home as we call the course. I am always trying to pick things that can be improved at any course, but after seeing the new layout, I must say I cannot find any.” And then looking at Gary Player, he laughed and added, “When I do, I will surely point out.”
Madappa, one of the promising youngsters on the Indian scene, said, “The course is looking in great shape and challenging, too. In fact, I think I like it even more than before and I am looking forward to it.”
Uttam Singh Mundy, CEO, PGTI and a former professional with multiple wins on the Indian Tour, said, “It was great to welcome back the Asian Tour after 2019. The Indian players will love the chance of playing at home. Meanwhile, the PGTI Tour has now grown a lot and 15-20 events, there are more created a lot more of opportunities.”
Unho Park, Senior Manager, Tour & Player Affairs, Asian Tour, who made his Major debut with Kapur back in 2006, added, “The Asian Tour has always loved to coming to India and is very pleased to be back after such a long gap. I wish all the players the very best.”
The field includes 132 professionals plus six amateurs. The field has players from 21 countries with 19 players who have won on the Asian Tour, and many more who have achieved success on the Indian Tour.
As many as eight players have won Asian Tour titles on the DGC, but all on the older layout. This is the first Asian Tour event at the DGC since 2018 and the first professional event was held at the renovated DGC in October 2021.
The cut will be applied after 36 holes and 65 professionals and ties will progress to the weekend rounds with the winner taking home US $ 90,000.
Picture: Asian Tour
(L - R) Unho Park, Senior Manager, Tour & Player Affairs, Asian Tour; Maj Gen Anil P Dere (Retd), Captain, DGC; Gary Player; Manjit Singh, President, DGC; Manasi Narasimhan, Vice President & Head, Marketing & Communication, South Asia, Mastercard; Uttam Singh Mundy, CEO, PGTI pose with The DGC Open trophy
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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