ProAm tournament shows confidence is everything in life, sports

The ProAm (pro + amateur) event held at Cosmo TNGF last Saturday was, in fact, a learning experience for many and not merely a fan moment with a star.
(from left) ProAm tournament winners Arun Kumar, N Thangaraja, Sambhu Prasad and Priyatham Rajagopal
(from left) ProAm tournament winners Arun Kumar, N Thangaraja, Sambhu Prasad and Priyatham Rajagopal

HONESTLY, haven’t you imagined playing football with Sunil Chhetri or cricket alongside Hardik Pandya and saving the day with a heroic display? Of course you have, since there is a Walter Mitty in all of us. For nearly eight dozen recreational golfers, this secret life became a reality, when they got selected to play alongside top professional Indian golfers.

The ProAm (pro + amateur) event held at Cosmo TNGF last Saturday was, in fact, a learning experience for many and not merely a fan moment with a star. To be able to watch them at close quarters and play a round with them, get guided by them or have them answer your queries on approach shots, was without doubt sublime moments. On a rain drenched course, 30 groups, each made up of three amateurs and one professional, set off in the scramble format in the PGTI event that was cheerful and yet competitive.

Acing it like a pro

The scramble format is where all four players play the first shot and the best one is chosen. From that position, all four play again. This continues till the ball is holed out. The only condition is that each of the amateurs should account for at least three tee shots. It was a challenge and called for a bit of strategy to ensure there was no default on this aspect. Club selection plays a significant part of the game. Pros do not always go for the longest shot from the tee, but plan and play in a way that would get them on the green with the second shot. This may seem like an obvious ploy but is not an easy one. “We can also think like the pros, but the main difference is that they are able to execute what is in their mind,” says Shanmuga Vadivelu, who played with the Bangladeshi pro Jamal Hossain.

Fitness of things

The pros are not necessarily strong, but their body has “golf sense” and almost every muscle seems to be under their control working in cohesion to deliver the shot the mind visualises. They also get into trouble with their long drives drifting off the fairways, but recover amazingly even from very difficult positions.

Aadil Bedi, the 21-year-old Chandigarh-based pro who played with Deepika Goyal and Gaurav Syal, says a combination of professional training, proper nutrition and yoga helps him bring the extra suppleness and focus necessary to execute every shot. “I want to be the world number one,” says Bedi with supreme confidence.

The scramble format always produces very low scores. The winners were at nett 55, which is 17 below par, while the best round in the Chennai Open Pro event was 7 below par. This is a clear indication that the amateurs played a significant role in the final outcome on several holes. The trio of Priyatham Rajagopal, Sambhu Prasad and Arun Kumar, led by the charismatic pro N Thangaraja, won the ProAm event.

“When four players putt from the same position, one of them is likely to sink even long putts,” observes Rajagopal, who contributed significantly to the victory. Uma Maheshwari, who combined with Karthik Narayanan, Sunder Rajan and Abhijit Chadda to finish runners-up, says that playing with the pros for the first time in her life was a game-changer. “I got to play with Chadda, who came third in the main PGTI tournament. He amazed us not only with his game but also with his calm and composed demeanour, encouraging us in our efforts. Staying cool through the round, he gently guided us to perform to our best, giving some useful tips in the most acceptable manner. The takeaways from the ProAm event was not only golf tips but also the fact that the pros showed us how to be better human beings.”

Isn’t that what sports is all about?

Visit news.dtnext.in to explore our interactive epaper!

Download the DT Next app for more exciting features!

Click here for iOS

Click here for Android

Related Stories

No stories found.
DT next
www.dtnext.in