R.K. Pitamber passes away

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By (PTI) in Mumbai
  • Published 23.08.05

Mumbai: Raj Kumar Pitamber, a doyen of Indian golf and former captain of the national squad, died here on Saturday after a brief illness, three days after his 74th birthday.

The London-born Oxford Blue, who also captained the University team, began making his mark on the game by finishing runner-up in the British Boys’ Open in 1953 and World Universities Championship in 1954.

Affectionately known as ‘Pit’ in golfing circles, Pitamber ruled the Indian golf scene for decades and won the all-India Amateur crown twice ? in 1966 and 1973. He captained India between 1964 and 1975 and represented the country for 17 years ? from 1958 to 1975 ? at a time when the game was largely amateur-driven. Pitamber, who was the president of the Indian Golf Union (1974-75), received the Arjuna Award in 1967.

[A Staff Reporter adds: Lakshman Singh on Tuesday described R.K. Pitambar’s death as “a deep loss to Indian golf.”

The city-based former Asian Games gold-winning golfer said that Pitamber would be remembered for his “pioneering work in lifting India’s image in the world of golf.”

“During the ’60s and ’70s, it was amateur golf being played around. He (Pitamber) along with Ashok Malik and Billu Shetty, started playing top-level golf at that time. Much of India’s progress in the game today owes to them,” he said. “He was like a godfather to me,” he added, while speaking to The Telegraph.

“I didn’t know he was ill. I was very upset and deeply shocked when I heard the news of his death,” Singh lamented.]