The swinging seventy


The weather was perfect — a pleasant breeze, bright but none-too-hot sunshine — as was the setting, on the lush, picturesque greens of the Hyderabad Golf Course, when over 70 golfers decided to have a swing with their clubs at the All-India Invitational golf tournament, conducted by the Central Revenue Sports Board.

The golfers clearly had a whale of a time on the course, the backdrop for which is made up by the imposing, magnificent ruins of the Golconda Fort. The tournament was played in the Individual Stableford format in three handicap (0-9, 10-18, 19-24) categories. If the main event made up the salad, then side events like “Longest Drive”, “Straight Drive” and “Closest to the Pin” made up the dressing.

In the end, Babla Singh (18 handicap), with 35 points, was crowned the winner in the 0-9 handicap category while B.A. Ganapathi (9 Handicap) claimed top honours in the 10-18 event after scoring 43 points. Meanwhile, 18-handicapper P.S. Chinna, who scored 41, won the 19-24 category. K.A. Poovanna struck a clean 244-yard shot to walk away with the “Longest Drive” prize. Iqbaljit Grewal and A.K. Jyotishi were awarded the “Closest to the Pin” and “Straight Drive” prizes respectively.

However, more than a platform for competition, the tournament was clearly considered an occasion for the officers to spend some quality time with their peers.

The tournament was inaugurated in the wee hours of Sunday by Chief Commissioner of Income Tax, Mumbai, N.P. Singh — who himself is a 18-handicapper — and witnessed several senior officers like Sheila Sangwan, member of the Central Excise and Customs, participate in it.

“This is an annual event for us and has been taking place for the last 20 years,” said A. Bhaskar Reddy, Hyderabad’s Commissioner of Income Tax, also the convener of the tournament. “This is the first time ever that this has been organised in Andhra Pradesh,” the Commissioner added.

Shishir Kumar, Special Secr-etary-cum-Director General, Special Economic Intelligence Bureau, had words of praise for the course. “This is a beautiful course, impeccably maintained. It’s historic surroundings add an air of elegance to it,” he said, adding, “However, since there are only nine holes available, it becomes easier for the golfers on the back-nine holes as they had already played on them.”

This was the first event of the season and if the weather holds up, the City, fast acquiring a reputation as an amateur golfer’s haven, could very well play host to several more such tournaments.

0 – 9 Category
Winner: Babla Singh (35 Pts)
Runner-up: B.A. Ganapathi (33 Pts)
10-18 Category
Winner: Lokesh Lilhare (43 Pts)
Runner-up: Appala Raju (39 Pts)
19-24 Category
Winner: P.S. Chinna (41 Pts)
Runner-up: K.V.N. Chary(39 Pts)
Longest Drive: K.A. Poovanna (244 Yds)
Straight Drive: A.K. Jyotishi (7’)
Closest to the Pin: Iqbaljit Grewal (2’9’’).

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