New Delhi, February 27: Global steel giant, Tata Steel have moved in as the umbrella sponsor of the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) with a three-year deal. The arrangement was announced by Tata Steel Vice President Sanjiv Paul and present with him was PGTI Chief Executive Uttam Singh Mundy.
“For more than a decade and a half, Tata Steel has hosted a tournament for the Indian pros at the Golmuri Golf Course in Jamshedpur. We decided it was time to extend our support to professional golf in the country as the lead partners for the entire tour,” said Paul.
Mundy, said, “We are delighted to welcome Tata Steel, one of Indian sports earliest and biggest benefactors, as our umbrella sponsor. Both the main and feeder tours – will benefit from PGTI’s association with Tata Steel.”
Paul added “Tata Steel has a long and enduring commitment to Indian sport. From football to archery, from athletics to boxing, from hockey to chess, we have been in the forefront of nurturing and supporting sporting talent. The association with the professionally-run PGTI is a natural outcome of our shared goal of promoting competition at the highest level among Indian players.”
PGTI’s 2019 calendar will include between 18 and 20 tournaments across the country. The PGTI came into existence in 2007 and before that the sport was run by Professional Golfers Association of India.
In the past, Hero MotoCorp and Sahara have also been umbrella sponsors when the Tour was run as PGAI. The players took over the body in 2007 and have run the Tour since then.
While records are not available of the Tour under PGAI, the past 12 years have seen about 220 tournaments and more than 325 players have won prize money with 38 players earning in excess of Rs 1 crore each. As many as 52 players have won at least one tournament.
Mhow’s Mukesh Kumar tops the chart with 19 victories, though the estimate is he has won more than 100 tournaments since pro golf started in India.
PGTI’s alignment with the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) system opens the doors for more Indian players to make an impact on the world stage and also for the world to recognize the kind of talent that we have in India.
The introduction of world ranking points will also help in improving the fields at PGTI events as Indian players who are Asian Tour regulars will have that extra incentive and motivation of playing on their home tour.
Tata Steel’s century-old association with sports dates back to Sir Dorabji Tata financing four athletes and two wrestlers for the 1920 Olympic Games in Antwerp, Belgium. Tata Steel has created infrastructure for every sports discipline, including a 9-hole and an 18-hole golf course, which have played host to a number of tournaments.