The image of that final hole comes back to me: Arshdeep Tiwana sitting pretty with a chance to take the final into extra playoff holes and then,out of nowhere,Moin Malak chipping the ball in for a remarkable win. As everyone else rushed towards Moin,there stood the disconsolate figure of Arshdeep,seeing his first win on the LG Amateur Tour slip out of his grasp.
But despite that heartbreak,one sensed the steely resolve in the Hyderabad lads eyes and I wasnt the least bit surprised to see him bolt ahead of the field at the LG Noida Open Amateur. After two rounds of blistering winds and cold weather,he still holds the lead and might just go on to accomplish what he narrowly missed out on in Kolkata.
The leaderboard wears a very interesting look,with a lot of first-timers and those with multiple wins in contention going into the last two rounds. Two names that caught my eye are Biren Dey and Pranav Kaul. This is the first time that the 19-year-old Pranav has made the cut in a tournament on the amateur tour,and he is just one stroke behind the leaders. It would be a wonderful learning curve for the young lad to play in one of the leader groups. I am sure he would be nervous but the only way to overcome your nerves is to go out there and focus on your game. The other boy Biren,a kid of Indian origin,lives in Dubai and has come to play here on the competitive circuit. As his coach,I would hope he can build on this great start because having seen him from close quarters I know he has got what it takes to compete with the best. But talent is one thing and performing when everyones gaze is on you is quite another. That experience can only be gained by putting yourself in contention.
That is the beauty of the LG Amateur Tour it provides a platform for so many of these young talented players to come and hone their skills. Biren,coming all the way from Dubai,puts forth the importance of the tour and the opportunities it provides to some of these players,who will carry the baton of Indian golf in the future.
In that respect,it is not just LG that deserves a special mention but all the other partners who have made this tour a successful one. Pepsi,Gatorade and Color Plus have done their bit by putting their weight behind the future of this countrys golf. CNN,as the official news channel,has already had a big role to play with L Selvadurai winning a brand new set and,of course Ten Sports,who have helped broadcast the action from the tour. Backed by their support,I am sure the tour will grow from strength to strength.
Brandon De Souza is the MD & CEO of Tiger Sports Marketing