Updated: January 8, 2022 2:09:26 am
The Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) Friday kickstarted Tata Steel PGTI Qualifying School 2022 at a golf course outside Ahmedabad city. However, due to rising Covid cases, the official body of professional golf in India, decided to postpone major part of the the event, which was expected to be “the biggest gathering of golfers in the country.”
The body in an emergency meeting held on Thursday decided to hold only Pre-Qualifying 1 on January 7-8 at Kalhaar Blues and Greens Golf Club and postpone all other stages scheduled between January 10-20.
A total of 338 golfers including those from eight countries were expected to participate in the event near Ahmedabad from January 7-20. The Pre Qualifying 1 stage of Tata Steel PGTI Qualifying School 2022 which is expected to go on till January 8, involves 101 players. Two are Candians and one from Britain.
The game is being held at Kalhaar Blues and Greens Golf Club on the Sanand-Viramgam highway when rising Covid cases have forces the state government to cancel a host of events including Vibrant Gujarat 2022. Gujarat Tourism is the presenting partner for the golf event.
“The dates for this event in Ahmedabad was finalised in November 2021. There were no permissions needed at that time. Though Covid cases were rising elsewhere, the situation in Gujarat was not so bad about 10 days ago. So when we saw the Covid cases rising, we decided to postpone the event,” an official from PGTI said.
The Qualifying School kickstarts each PGTI season and is one of the most important events on PGTI calender. It is also the only route for players to qualify to play on PGTI in a particular season. Among all PGTI events, the ongoing Qualifying school event runs for the longest duration of two weeks.
This year, 259 professionals and 79 amateurs were expected to participate at the venue in Ahmedabad. This includes 20 golfers from foreign nations including Bangladesh, Canada, Australia, Sri Lanka, USA, UK, UAE and Nepal. This time, PGTI is staging its Qualifying school after a gap of one year due to the pandemic. The last PGTI Qualifying School was held in January 2020.
“Due to the postponment of the remaining part of the event, 90 more golfers who were scheduled to start arriving in Ahmedabad from January 8, have been informed of the development,” the official said. The golfers for Pre Qualifying 1 stage had already arrived two days ago and had started playing their practice rounds.
The district administration in Ahmedabad said there were no official restrictions in place against conducting a sporting event.
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