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Birdies, bogeys & bonds on the greens

- Big boys are warmed up at half-way mark

The McLeod Russel Tour Championship (Nov 28-Dec 1) is the biggest golf show to come to town in years, with 63 pros vying for Rs 1.25 crore prize money at RCGC. Brandon drives it long and hard, only for Metro...

Shake things up

Is someone listening? The outstation golfers have been overheard complaining about Calcutta’s black-and-yellow taxis shaking so much that when you get off, some things are still shaking! You can always choose to recover by sitting in the comfort of the Shamiana and keeping count of the golf score being updated live on a plasma TV, instead of asking everyone from the bearer to the ball boy who’s leading.

The hole story

The most difficult hole is the third hole. There’s a premium on your drive and then a premium on your second shot. It doesn’t end there, you still have to get it in the hole. Today’s statistics show that this hole played the most difficult with 26 bogeys, 7 double bogeys and 1 triple. More than half of the field.

Score card

The predicted winning score was 8/10-under. In two days, you’ve got the leader at the top of the heap at 6-under so they are on track. The big boys sounded a warning with Jyoti Randhawa now just three behind and S.S.P. Chowrasia a further stroke adrift.

The current leader is Shamim Khan who is at 6-under and Mukesh Kumar is hanging in there at 5-under. Anirban Lahiri along with Abhijeet Singh Chadha and Shankar Das all shot 67 to stay in the hunt.

Eagle eye

There were no other birds to look at — the other two that matter to a golfer, the birdie and the eagles, are red spots on the scorecard that saw the players plundering the fourth and the 15th holes for 45 birdies and 7 eagles.

Feast

Without mentioning names, some like myself have shut down their kitchens for the week thanks to what’s available courtesy Paprika by Vidisha. A highlight is a different menu on each day — today’s special was good ’ol Indian with streetfood for high tea, from papdi chaat to phuchka.

The business of golf

Looking for the Indian Tiger in our woods? So is everyone else. With a total purse of over Rs 9 crore on the PGTI Tour, it only gets bigger and better. While this (McLeod Russel) is the largest purse, you also have the DLF Masters (Rs 95 lakh), BILT Open (Rs 1 crore) and Louis Philippe Cup (over Rs 1 crore). And this excludes the four major dollar events — Avantha Masters (Euro 1.8 million), Indian Open (US $1.25 million), SAIL-SBI Open (US $300,000) and Gujarat Kensville Challenge (Euro 200,00).

Now please don’t drop the papers and rush to the driving range to try and become a professional golfer. While parents should look at this as encouragement, do remember education is important and there should always be a Plan B before your wards chase their dreams.

Holiday spot

With golfers always on the move, the favourite tour stop for many seems to be the Nepal Masters in Kathmandu. Apart from the cheap shopping, what takes them there is the casino. I asked one of the guys if he had doubled his money yet. “The only way I’ve doubled it is by folding a big note into two!”

Trick shot

Every weekend, we’ve got accustomed to golfer-members hitting trick shots without meaning to! For a change, we were treated to the real stuff at trick-shot king Jeremy Dale’s show. For those who missed out, catch him at 3pm today (November 30).