India has not won a medal in golf since the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou, China. However, the inclusion of professional players in the upcoming Hangzhou Games in China next month may result in the country winning one or two medals.
“With a very strong field, we have good chances of winning a medal,” Uttam Singh Mundy, the CEO of PGTI, told Sportstar on the sidelines of the ongoing Coimbatore Open.
“In 2016, golf was inducted as an Olympic sport. It’s nice that now even the Asiad has permitted the participation of professionals. The idea is to have the best athletes taking part, be they amateurs or professionals,” he adds.
Mundy represented India in amateur golf at the 1986 Seoul Asiad but did not perform well. The current team consists of four men (Shubhankar Sharma, Anirban Lahiri, Khalin Joshi, and SSP Chawrasia) and three women (Aditi Ashok, Avani Prashanth, and Pranavi Urs). “It is nice to see a great representation of our top athletes on the world stage. I am confident they will get into winning ways and, with it, end the medal drought.”
Mundy says the game has witnessed a sea of change since his playing days. “Things are moving rapidly in the world of golf, especially for India. Over the years, we have always embarked upon something new, and that has helped the game. Our top professionals are now playing across the globe.”
He says currently, a lot of youngsters are turning pro. “A few years ago, there were not many, but now they are looking at golf as a career option as the number of tournaments and the prize money have increased.”
“Even in PGTI, the quality has vastly improved, such that in the last nine tournaments, we have had different winners. Those days, the top five kept winning every other tournament. But now, in the top 20, there’s always a new winner. It’s just a question of clicking,” says Mundy.
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