Kolkata: City golfers Akshay Bajoria handicap Category A (0-18) and Sanjay Ajmera handicap Category B (19-24) qualified for the National Finals of Mercedes Trophy 2018 on Day 2 of the Kolkata leg qualifier played at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club. Akshay and Sanjay clinched the qualification spots by carding a nett. score of 70.2 and 73.8 respectively. The Mercedes Trophy 2018 has so far seen 24 qualifiers who will be competing in the National Finals to be played at the Oxford Golf Resort in Pune from 4-6 April 2018.
Akshay Bijoria winner in CAT A said, “It is always a great feeling to play at the Royal Calcutta Golf club. It is one of the oldest as well as one of the most beautiful courses in the country. I am really looking forward to the finals in Pune.”
Sanjay Ajmera winner in CAT B said, “ I am really thrilled by the result. I started the game slowly but finally in the back nine I was able to pull it through. I hope I can carry this momentum forward in the national finals.”
The best Gross Winner of the day was Vedanta Kanoria with a round of 76 and there were a host of other prizes on offer to be won on the day. Prominent winners included Samarth Mehta who won the Ballantine’s Long Drive Challenge with a mammoth drive of 290 yards. Rajiv Agarwal won the Mercedes-Benz Closest to Pin contest on hole no. 13 by landing the ball at 9ft. and 8 inches from the pin. In the Mercedes – Benz Closest to Pin in Two Shots, Udhav Modi landed the ball at 6 ft. and 5 inches from the pin to win the contest on hole no. 16. Biswa Behari Chatterjee won the Mercedes-Benz Straightest Drive contest by landing the ball on the line.
The format of play was Double Peoria. This unique format of adjusting handicaps of players levels the playing field enabling golfers to have a greater chance of qualifying for the National Finals.
A total of 108 city golfers participated on Day 2 of the Kolkata leg of Mercedes Trophy. The tournament will now have its next qualification leg scheduled to tee off on 15th February 2018 at the Cosmo TNGF in Chennai.
This year’s Mercedes Trophy will host 27 days of golf across 12 Indian cities. Pune will also host the national finals at the Oxford Golf Resort between 4th and 6th April 2018.
This year for the first time, Mercedes-Benz’s global charity partner– Laureus Sport for Good Foundation is also associated with the tournament to raise funds for its programmes in India. While participants can donate online or on-ground at the tournament venue, Mercedes-Benz India will donate an equal amount to match the funds raised from participants.
Globally, Mercedes Trophy witnesses participation of approximately 60,000 golfers from across 60 countries battling it out for the top prize, making it one of the world’s largest and most coveted sporting events.
The 18th edition of the Mercedes Trophy after the Kolkata qualifiers will travel to 5 more cities – Chennai, Chandigarh, Gurgaon, Noida and Jaipur. Forty-five winners will be selected from the qualifiers for the National Finals. The qualifiers end on March 11, 2018 in Jaipur.
Three winners of the National Finals will then compete against those from tournaments played in 60 countries all over the world, in the 29th edition of the Mercedes Trophy World Final at Stuttgart, Germany. Mercedes-Benz is also providing an opportunity for beginners to learn golf through their Golf Clinic program.