Chandigarh’s Sandeep Sandhu underscored his rating as the top senior amateur player of the country by winning his 4th consecutive title on the AVT Champions Tour by shooting a total of 147, 3 over par over 36 holes at the challenging Karnataka Golf Association (KGA).
This puts Sandhu at the top of the season rankings again at the start of the AVT Champions Tour’s fifth season and the 15th edition overall so far in the series that commenced in 2019 and has been a strong addition to the Indian golf scene, open to all amateur players over 50 years of age and handicap 12 and below.
The top two players for the season are sponsored to participate in important international senior amateur events. The 2021-22 champions Ankur Prakash and Sandeep Sandhu played the Asia Pacific Senior Amateur Championship in Kuala Lumpur last November.
Sandhu, won despite a quadruple bogey 7 in round 1 on the short 130 yard par 3, 8th hole where he hit the water twice. Other than that he scored 8 birdies over two days in a commanding display on the greens. Sandhu, the overall champion from the 2022-2023 season after three victories on the trot, shot 77-70 (3-over 147) to win, while former AVT Tour winner, Pushpinder Rathore (78-72) of Rajasthan took 2nd along with local KGA golfer Ashok Gowda (74-76) who was making his Senior tour debut.
Results – AVT Bangalore
Overall 36 holes
|Winner||Sandeep Sandhu||77-70 (147)|
|Runner-Up||PS Rathore||78-72 (150)|
Age Categories Winners
|50-54||Ashok Gowda||74-76 (150)|
|55-59||Gaurav Ghosh||76-76 (152)
|60-64||Hitesh Joshi||78-78 (156)
|65-69||Dhananjay Date||81-76 (157)|
|70 & Above||Uday S R||91-82|
|Paromita Mukherjee||76-76 (152)|
|Neetu Aggarwal||89-86 (175)|
Gross Team Results –
Winners – Sandeep Sandhu, Kuldip Singh, Jaspreet Bakshi & Bhupinder Singh Mundh ( Punjab)
Runners-Up – Gaurav Ghosh, Sudeep Chitlangia, Jaideep Singh, Ashit Luthra ( Kolkata)
Mukherjee, a 1 hcap player from Abu Dhabi, who recently relocated to Bangalore, who shot 76-76(152) for a highly competitive total.
The tournament teed off a record 117 participants with 83 outstation players including 35 from Delhi, NCR, the largest travelling contingent. Pune, Chandigarh, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, Jaipur, were all well represented.
The AVT Champions Tour is a series of four annual tournaments with a season long ranking that attracts the best veteran players in the country, including the likes of Asian Games gold medalists Lakshman Singh, Rishi Narain & Amit Luthra, former All India Amateur Champions Ashok Malik and Alan Singh, as well as All-India Senior winners Gangesh Khaitan & Vijay Kumar. Other notable competitors in the over 100-strong fields are 1983 cricket world cup team winning captain Kapil Dev, senior internationals Jaspreet Bakshi, Anil Jule, Ajai Sirohi, Capt Cheema & GC Sharma. Last year’s top two on the Tour Sandeep Sandhu and Noida’s Ankur Prakash also play each event.
The players compete for the overall title, as well as various age categories over 50, over 55, over 60, over 65, & over 70. There is a four-member inter-city team event in gross and net categories as well as net prizes in two handicap categories to keep the interest alive.