The Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) took a big step towards becoming a globally recognised golf Tour with its events being approved by the governing board of the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) into the OWGR system. It will also open the doors of the PGTI for international players, leading to greater value for sponsors on the Indian Tour. With the decision coming at the start of 2019, it means that PGTI events will fetch precious OWGR points for players playing in them.
Uttam Singh Mundy, a former Touring pro on Asian Tour and now CEO of PGTI, said, “This is a landmark moment for Indian golf. We have a very strong Tour and excellent partners and sponsors. “They will get greater value and the sponsorships will grow. For the golfers, the OWGR points will be helpful in trying to make the Olympics in 2020 in Tokyo.”
Ian Barker, chairman of the OWGR technical committee, said, “This is the culmination of a three-year process for PGTI. We had certain stipulations like open-ness of the Tour, which would allow players from all over be able to play on the Tour. We were happy to see that happen and it will be great for Indian golf.”
Rising star Shubhankar Sharma welcomed the decision to give PGTI events officials world ranking points. “I think it’s fabulous. I think India has some great players, and even the scores are pretty low. I think it’s truly one of the better tours in Asia now. All Indian players have come through PGTI.
“So I think it’s great we have world ranking points. It will just attract more and more sponsors, and it will help making Indian golf bigger.”
The Board at its crucial meeting held during the 147th Open Championship in Carnoustie this week announced the decision. The PGTI will be introduced into the OWGR system at a minimum level of 5 first place points for their tournaments that are played over 72 holes. The approval is a thumbs up for Indian golf, which now has players on virtually all global Tours, ranging from PGA and European Tours to Asian and Japan Tours.
The All Thailand Golf Tour will also be introduced at a minimum level of five points for first place and the Abema TV Tour in Japan will also be introduced to the OWGR at minimum points levels of 4 first place points for its tournaments that are played over 54 holes.
In another decision, the board also announced that the Asian Tour’s Ho Tram Players Championship will get the OWGR Flagship Tournament status in place of the Indonesian Masters with immediate effect.