New Delhi: Following its highly acclaimed inaugural edition in March 2012, the Louis Philippe Cup, golf’s equivalent of the IPL, is set to be contested by 9 teams of India’s top professional golfers at a new venue at Jaypee Greens, Greater Noida from February 11th to 16th 2013. The Louis Philippe Cup is sanctioned by the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) for three years as the exclusive professional team golf tournament in India and conceptualised by RN Golf Management.
The tournament was conceived in order to change the way fans relate to India’s top professional golf stars. Professional golf has always been an individual sport but the Louis Philippe Cup introduced the city based team format, inspired by the IPL and thereby elicited higher engagement and following among fans. The success of last year was underlined by the presence of every one of the sub continent’s big name stars, unprecedented media coverage which surpassed any other golf tournament in India till that point and enthusiastic spectator turnout at the KGA Bangalore. The surprise winners were Navratna Ahmedabad represented by big hitting Vikrant Chopra of Delhi, prolific youngster Mithun Perera of Sri Lanka and the consistent Vinod Chopra, also of Delhi. They edged out the more fancied Puravankara team led by the in-form Anirban Lahiri in the final.
Speaking on the occasion, Jacob John, Brand Head, Louis Philippe, said, “Golf is a game that symbolises style, sophistication and success; characteristics that are reflected in our brand.” Speaking about the opportunity this event gives amateur golfers, Mr. John added, “Fan involvement is a key element of the Louis Philippe Cup, and through this event we want to build a platform where true golf fans have a chance to play alongside the pros, a format that can only be adapted in sport such as golf; where the club golfer’s performances do not affect the score and performance of the pros.”
Padamjit Sandhu, Director, PGTI, said, “This is an important new innovation in format in professional golf and could potentially be a game changer in the way fans relate to India s top golf stars. We would like to thank Louis Philippe and Rishi Narain Golf Management for creating this new event on the PGTI Tour and we know that India s top players and members of the PGTI are excited to participate in the tournament, rooting for their team to finish at the top.”
The nine Participating cities in this year’s edition are Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Gurgaon, Chandigarh, Noida, Ahmedabad and the latest inclusion, Greater Noida - competing to be crowned the champions , of one of the richest tournaments on the PGTI Calendar with a total prize money purse of Rs, 1.20Crores. The teams are respectively named AVT Kolkata, Take Solutions Chennai, Puravankara Bangalore, DLF Gurgaon, Dev Ellora Chandigarh, Shubhkamna Noida, Navratna Ahmedabad and Jaypee Greens Greater Noida. The Delhi team sponsors will be announced soon.
The unique format of the four day event features two days (36 holes) strokeplay in which all 9 teams will compete. The four teams with the best total team scores over 36 holes will advance to the semi-finals. From the semi-finals onwards the top four teams will play a knockout. One-on-one matches between the three players of each team will earn each team one point for a win and zero for a loss. The two winning semi-finalists will go head-to-head in the finals on the fourth day. While the losing semi-finalists will battle for 3rd place.
The winning team stands to win Rs.36 lacs, while runners-up will earn Rs. 24 lacs, team finishing in third place will earn a purse of Rs.18 lacs and the team placed fourth will receive Rs. 12 lacs. Teams ranked 5 to 8 after the two rounds of strokeplay will battle it out for minor placings while the 9th team will not compete on the final two days.
Star Indian players who are confirmed to play include 2012 Scottish Open Champion ranked no 32 on the 2012 European Tour) Jeev Milkha Singh who turns out once again for Shubhkamna Noida, the 2012 Sail SBI Open (Asian Tour) winner who made a splash at The 2012 British Open Championship Anirban Lahiri who returns once again for Puravankara Bangalore, Three time Indian Open champion and former Asian Tour No. 1 Jyoti Randhawa who again plays for DLF Gurgaon and winner of the 2011 Singapore Classic Himmat Rai ( who will play for Delhi in 2013) ,India’s highest ranking player, the 2012 Macau Open & Yeangder Tournament Player Championship (Both Asian Tour) winner Gaganjeet Bhullar, who will join the newly added Jaypee Greens, Greater Noida team. Apart from these star players, the top 18 ranked players on the PGTI 2012 final order of merit are assured of a starting place on one of the nine teams.
Team sponsors teams expressed their solidarity and excitement of wanting to win the Trophy. They included defending champion Mr. Devang Shah of Navratna Developers (Ahmedabad), 2012 runner up Ms. Sanjita Cariappa of Puravankara Projects(Bangalore), Mr. H. R. Srinivasan of TAKE Solutions(Chennai), Mr. Aakash Ohri of DLF Ltd (Gurgaon), Mr. Piyush Tiwari of Shubhkamna-Advert (Noida) and Ms. Vidya Basarkod of Jaiprakasah Associates (Greater Noida). Mr. Kapil Dev, sponsor of the Dev Ellora Bangalore team mentioned that he felt this event has helped put Indian pro golfers on an unprecedented pedestal compared to the importance reserved otherwise only for cricket stars and that this was a great morale and confidence booster for the professional players and the profile of Indian golf.
Rishi Narain, MD, RN Golf Management, said, “The Louis Philippe Cup fulfilled every bit of its promise in its first year. The support of the star Indian players, the response from sponsors, media and fans was beyond expectations. We created a new platform to promote Indian professional golfers and made fans sit up and notice that Indian pro golf had reached levels compared to the best in Asia. The depth of talent available in Indian golf along with the number of international titles surpasses that of any other Asian country excepting Japan and Korea, where the sport is very highly developed. We wanted Indian fans to recognise Indian pro golfers and we hope that over the years, their following grows even greater.“