The scenic Oxford Golf Resort, Pune played host to the third leg of this season’s AVT Champions Tour and the 13th edition overall since the popular tour for over 50’s amateurs started in 2019. Sandeep Sandhu of Chandigarh clinched the overall title in style with stellar rounds of 73-71 (total level-par 144). Kapil Dev showed remarkable consistency and finished second with rounds of 74-76 (150) in his first appearance after a while on the AVT Tour where he has been runner up on three previous occasions.
In addition to the overall championship, the players competed for titles in the following age categories: 55 & Over, 60 & over, 65 & over, 70& over.
In the age category 50-54, Pramodh Kalia claimed the title with scores of 74-81 (155).
In the 55-59 category, 2022 AVT Tour champion Ankur Prakash of Noida shot 76-75 (151) to pip 2019 overall AVT Tour champion Puspehndra Singh Rathore of Bikaner by one shot. Rathore shot 77-75 (152).
In the 60-64 category, Nirupam Dhar of Pune claimed a one-shot win over Bhupender Singh from AEPTA, Delhi. Dhar shot 81-77 (158) while Singh shot 80-79 (159).
In the 65-69 category, Gangesh Khaitan ( Jaypee Greens, Greater Noida) shot stellar rounds of 75-76 (151) to run away with the win by eight shots. Col. Anil Jule from AEPTA Delhi finished second with rounds of 81-78 (159).
In the 70 and above category, who played off the yellow tees, the evergreen Asian Games Gold Medallist and Arjuna Awardee Lakshman Singh, now based in Jodhpur, shot a magnificent 74 on the final day to recover from 87 in the opening round (161) to win by two strokes over former All-India Men’s champion Alan Singh of Jamshedpur, who shot 82-81 (163).
The AVT Champions Tour at the Pune awards ceremony honoured veteran player Ferjan Engineer from Mumbai who had been a pioneer of the game at the international level back in the 1960’s and 70’s along with players like Rajkumar Pitamber.
Former honourees by the AVT Champions Tour for their lifetime contribution to the game of golf in India include 5 time national champion Ashok Malik, three time All India champion Alan Singh, the founder of the Coimbatore Golf Club and the co-founder of KGA Golf Club – BK Gajraj;
The final event in the 4 event series takes place at Chandigarh Golf Club, March 13-15 when the season champion will be crowned. Sandeep Sandhu, of Chandigarh, with two wins and a 2nd place is in an unassailable position to win the crown after narrowly missing out to Ankur Prakash in March 2022.
The two top ranked players at the end of the season are provided entry and expenses to play in a selected international senior amateur championship. In November 2022, Ankur and Sandhu both were sent by the AVT Champions Tour to the Asia Pacific Seniors in Kuala Lumpur as a result of finishing 1st and 2nd on the season long rankings.
Complete results of the AVT Champions Tour at Oxford Golf Resort are on this link –
Overall Winner – Sandeep Sandhu 73-71 (144)
Overall Runner-up – Kapil Dev 74-76 (150)
Age Category Winners
Category Player Score
50-54 Pramodh Kalia 74-81 (155)
55-59 Ankur Prakash 76-75 (151)
60-)64 Nirupam Dhar 81-77 (158)
65-69 Gangesh Khaitan 75-76 (151)
70 & Above Lakshman Singh 87-74 (161)
Team Results – Gross for 36 holes –
Winners – Ankur Prakash, Gangesh Khaitan, Rishi Narain & Ashish Kapoor – 458
Runners-Up – Kuldip Singh Sandhu, Sandeep Sandhu, Jaspreet Bakshi & Darvesh Kumar – 471
Past Winners of AVT Champions Tour events are listed below:
2022-2023 season –
David D’Souza – Bangalore Golf Club, Bangalore (July)
Sandeep Sandhu – Royal Calcutta Golf Club, Kolkata (November)
Sandeep Sandhu – Oxford Golf Resort, Pune (January)
2021 – 2022 season
David D’Souza – Eagleton Golf Resort, Bengaluru (January)
Sanjeev Mehra – Royal Calcutta Golf Club, Kolkata (November)
Ajai Sirohi – Classic Golf & CC, Gurugram (November)
Rishi Narain – Classic Golf & CC, Gurugram (March)
David D’Souza – Eagleton Golf Resort, Bengaluru (July)
PS Rathore – Oxford Golf Resort, Pune ( September)
PS Rathore – Tollygunge Golf Club, Kolkata (January 2020)