The new year saw the 16th edition of the Business Today-Honda Pro-Am of Champions mark yet another break from its past. After experimenting with a Friday schedule during the eastern round in Kolkata in November, and including Chandigarh as a venue in October, the Pro-Am of Champions added yet another venue to its roster: Aamby Valley Golf Club, the latest venue for the western leg of the Pro-Am.
Sandeep Malhotra was the winner in the individual category
Willingdon Sports Club, located in the heart of Mumbai, had been hosting the western leg of the Pro-Am for several years, but this year the organisers took a liking for the salubrious climes of the Aamby Valley township in Lonavala, nestled in the picturesque Sahyadri range of the Western Ghats, and designed by English course architect David Hemstock.
Thanks to its novelty factor, perfect golfing weather, and a sprawling and verdant layout, the fourth round of the BT Pro-Am at Aamby Valley was thoroughly enjoyed by all who had the good fortune of taking part in the event. The Pro-Am travelled to Mumbai this January after completing its three legs in Chandigarh, Kolkata and Bangalore.
Praveen Biyani was the winner in the individual category
Rudratej Singh, Global Brand Director, Hindustan Unilever, was the toast of Aamby Valley. Singh booked himself a berth in the Grand Finale of the BT-Honda Pro-Am of Champions to be played at the Classic Golf Resort outside Gurgaon on February 19 and 20.
Ravikanth Konteti, Managing Director, JPMorgan Chase, was part of the winning team
The Classic, which has been a loyal host of the decider for all but one edition of the event, is a Jack Nickalaus signature course, and a favourite of many - both amateurs and professionals - who have had the privilege and joy of teeing it up there.
Rudratej Singh, Global Brand Director, HUL (left), receives his award from Vipul Hoon, GM (Marketing), Business Today
Singh emerged winner in the 0-10 handicap category, and joining him in the final will be Praveen Biyani, Managing Director, Bhagat Aromatics, and Sandeep Malhotra, Senior Director, ICICI Venture, who won the 11-18 and 19-24 handicap categories, respectively.
R. Ramakrishnan, Executive Director, Bajaj Electricals (left), receives his prize from Rohit Kumar of Honda Siel Cars, India
And bagging team honours (with 98 points) was the on-the-ball quartet of Kavi Arora, CEO of Religare Finvest, Ravikanth Konteti, Managing Director, JPMorgan Chase, R. Ramakrishnan, Executive Director of Bajaj Electricals, and Jayesh Gadekar, Director, Vantage Insurance Brokers, who was in the winning team). Finishing second best in the team category was the foursome of Rudratej Singh, Dinesh Lal, Group Director-India, Maersk India, Jinendra Munot, Joint Managing Director, ZF Steering Gear (India) and Deepak Anand, Senior Vice-President, WNS Global Services.
Dinesh Lal, Group Director-India, Maersk India (left), receives his award from Kavi Arora, CEO, Religare Finvest Ltd
As always, Honda Siel Cars, India was the title sponsor of the BT Pro-Am while Religare was the associate sponsor. Also, chipping in generously were Cleveland, the equipment sponsor, United Breweries and Kingfisher, the beverage partners, Golf Digest India (golf magazine partner) and Aamby Valley GC (host venue). United Breweries and Kingfisher provided a bottle of scotch each for the individual and team winners, as well as the runners-up team.
mosimageNext up in the line is the All-India finals, when the curtain comes down on the 2010-11 season of the BT Honda Pro-Am of Champions. It should make for an exciting couple of days amidst the pleasingly quiet and ruggedly rustic environs of the Aravallis. The cream of India Inc. will be there to battle for the top honours.