The first team had teed off at 7.36 a.m., but the turnout was so good that by the time the last players came in, at 3 p.m., it was late afternoon and the early birds had finished their game and some had gone home. After all, unlike last year's bt event, this one was on a relaxed weekend (Saturday, December 12).
The organisers had to race against the winter sun to figure out the totals, what with ties for almost every spot-the runner-up, the winning team, and even the individual winners. Some math and the special rules helped.
When the organisers read out the names of the winning team's members, they were not to be seen. So, the runners-up team hogged the cameras and the applause.
Govind S. Atwal, a member of the winning team, told bt: "The course is good… the greens are superb. The competition was good." Govind, listed as a Director of G.S. Atwal and Co, is from a golfing family, his brother being Arjun Atwal, the first Indian to become a member of the us-based pga Tour.
Other members of the winning team were Nikhil Poddar, Director, Poddar Udyog; B.K. Dey, Advisor, PowerMax; Abhijit Roy, Head of Corporate Planning, ITG.
But Aditya Khaitan, Managing Director of McLeod Russel, was somewhat sore at being in the runners-up. He was heard telling a senior club official that the grass had been cut too short and the course was listless.
The other members of the runners-up team were Ranvir Bhandari, Area Manager (East), itc Hotels, and gm, itc Sonar; Rajesh Poddar of Payal Management; and Madan Taneja of Rawmet Commodities.
Bhandari, an avid golfer, said it was a perfect day for golf and the bt event-"one of the more popular tournaments here"-was very well attended, with all the top golfers present. "What happened was that the front nine wasn't too good, but on the back nine I improved considerably… I was able to read the greens on the back nine much better," he said, commenting on his performance.
The prizes were given away by Anuj Bidani, National Sales Head, The Venetian Macau Resort. The winning team and runners- up had tied with scores of 93 each, so the score of the 4th member of each team was then taken into account to decide the winner.
The winners in the Team category get to go to The Venetian Macau for a 3-day, 2-night stay and a celebratory round of golf in April 2010.
The winner in the 17-24 Handicap category was Sharad Jhawar of Usha Carriers, with 32 points; in the 9-16 category, Anant Bajoria of Marshall Sons with 39 points, and in the category 0-8, Pawan Ghai of Svelte Advertising with 40 points.
There had been a tie here also between Ghai and Sudeep Chitlangia, Managing Director, Madhya Bharat Papers. The score on the back 9 was taken into consideration and Ghai emerged the winner.
Among other participants were K.N. Desai, Vice President, Tata Tea; Joydeep Datta Gupta, Executive Director, Deloitte and Touche Consulting India; Deepak Tandon, President, Birla Tyres; B.K. Jhawar, Chairman, Usha Martin; Suvamoy Saha, Director, Eveready Industries India; Aditya Agarwal, Director, Emami Group of Companies; Deepak Srivastava, ceo, Bharti Airtel, Kolkata, West Bengal and Orissa; C.S. Bedi, Executive Director, Rossell Tea; and B.L. Raina, Managing Director, The Tinplate Co. of India.
Vipul Hoon, gm (Marketing), Business Today Group, thanked the participants for their patience. He also thanked Honda, the co-title partners, associate sponsors itc Hotels and Religare, Urban 18, Teacher's, Venetian Macau, Cleveland and Golf Digest.
The bt-Honda Pro-Am of Champions 2010, India's only stand-alone Pro-Am golf event, celebrated its 15th anniversary this year. The bt Pro-Am of Champions, which began in 1995, has established itself as the premier Pro-Am in the country.
The golf championship is promoted by Business Today, part of The India Today Group, and Honda Siel Cars India in association with itc Welcomgroup Hotels, Religare Services, Ethos Summit, The Venetian Macao, Cleveland Golf, Urban 18 and Teacher's. The official magazine for the event is Golf Digest India.
The next event is on January 23 at The Willingdon Sports Club, Mumbai.