Exciting Sky diving exhibition heralds start of Pearls Golf Premier League in association with Aamby Valley
Aamby Valley, February 8: An exhilarating exhibition of skydiving, the likes of which has never been seen in a golf tournament heralded the start of the inaugural Pearls Golf Premier League in association with Aamby Valley City on Thursday. Seven sky divers carrying the flags of Pearls, the Aamby Valley City and the eight franchises descended 5,000 feet and onto a small designated area on the driving range in front of the star-studded field of players, officials and a whole lot of spectators from Pune and Mumbai to set the ball rolling for the inaugural edition of the league.
The sky diving exhibition was followed by a smart opening ceremony during which all the 32 players and team owners were invited to the stage. All the players were dressed in their team colours. Soon after that the lovely Pearls GPL Trophy was also unveiled by Mr. KK Bakshi of Pearls alongwith Col SK Sinha of Aamby Valley City and Neeraj Sareen of GPL.
Earlier the Delhi Darts team’s sponsors Kenwood Nippon felicitated their players, Johan Edfors, Scott Barr, Rahil Gangjee and Ajeetesh Sandhu and presented them with the latest model of a car stereo each.
Mahela Jayawardene, the owner of the team, Colombo Sixes, said, “I have never seen anything like this for a golf tournament and probably any sporting event. It really will attract huge numbers and catch the attention of all. With this kind of attractions and a star-studded field of players this is one idea that will become bigger with each year.”
Darren Clarke, the 2011 Open champion remarked, “I have never seen a golf tournament being inaugurated thus. That’s the great way to popularize the sport.”
Johan Edfors, a multiple winner on the European Tour, added, “Indian golf has been making rapid strides and this tournament will go a long way. I have spent two days and I have people very hospitable and the golf course at Aamby Valley absolutely world class. This tournament with so many innovations could well be a landmark in golf.”
The sky diving exhibition was put up Aamby Valley’s own crew of sky divers, who between them have logged 140,000 dives. Aamby Valley will have its own Academy for Sky diving by October 2013.
Eight teams with four players each will play for the next three days for a purse of $ 400,000 of which the winners will get $ 200,000, while the runner-up team gets $ 100,000 and the third place and fourth placed finishers et $ 60,000 and $ 40,000.
The field includes four Major winners Angel Cabrera (US Open 2007 and Masters 2009), Darren Clarke (British Open 2011), Rich Beem (2002 PGA) and Michael Campbell (US Open 2005). Asia No. 1 Thaworn Wiratchant, India Number 1 on PGTI Tour, Shamim Khan, Gaganjeet Bhullar, ranked in world’s top-100 alondgside many top Asian and international stars are competing in the three-day event.
Under the innovative format, the players will play three rounds of 14 holes each under floodlights and the event will be telecast live on Sony Six.
“It is wonderful to be part of something new,” added Clarke and then gushed about this great course. “It is absolutely superb. Such lovely views and the weather is great.”
The Pro-Am was scheduled for later in the evening and the main tournament begins on Friday.
The following are the teams:
Indian International: Anirban Lahiri (India)
Asian Star Daniel Chopra (Sweden)
International Michael Campbell (NZL)
PGTI Shamim Khan (India)
Indian International: Rahil Gangjee (India)
Asian Star Scott Barr (Australia)
International Johan Edfors (Sweden)
PGTI Ajeetesh Sandhu (India)
Indian International: Shiv Kapur (India)
Asian Star Scott Hend (Australia)
International Angel Cabrera (Argentina)
PGTI Ashok Kumar (India)
Witalsee Punjab Lancers
Indian International: Gaganjeet Bhullar (India)
Asian Star Thaworn Wiratchant (Thailand)
International David Howell (England)
PGTI Rashid Khan (India)
Indian International: Digvijay Singh (India)
Asian Star Pariya J (Thailand)
International Jarmo Sandelin (Sweden)
PGTI Gaurav Ghei (India)
Indian International: Shankar Das (India)
Asian Star Chapchai Nirat (Thailand)
International Darren Clarke (N Ireland)
PGTI Mukesh Kumar (India)
Indian International: Chiragh Kumar (India)
Asian Star Jason Knutzon (US)
International Simon Dyson (England)
PGTI Mithun Perera (Sri Lanka)
Indian International: Himmat Rai (India)
Asian Star Siddikur (Bangladesh)
International Rich Beem (US)
PGTI Harendra Gupta (India)
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