PUNE: Pune based exporter and former Naval Officer Rajiv Pusalkar, bagged the second national final qualifying spot from Pune for the 18th edition of the Mercedes Trophy, India’s largest and most prestigious corporate Golf tournament.
The Pune leg of qualifiers concluded on Friday at the Oxford Golf Resort. Sachin Gangal had won the first qualifying spot earlier on day one on Thursday. Rajiv recorded a Nett. score of 69.8 to emerge triumphant.
Commenting after the win, Pusalkar said, “ I am really happy with the win. The MercedesTrophy is a very prestigious trophy and winning this qualifier makes me very proud. I have played the tournament 3-4 times in the past but this is the first time I am playing as an owner and luck smiled on me. The next target is to win the finals and make the trip to Germany.”
The best Gross Winner of the day was Vidhyadhar Date with an excellent round of 77 and there were a host of other prizes on offer to be won on the day.
Prominent winners included Nitesh Shindey who won the Ballantine’s Long Drive Challenge with a mammoth drive of 260 yards. Sudhir Nagpal won the Mercedes-Benz Closest to Pin contest on the Par 3 14th hole landing the ball 4ft 6 inches from the pin. In the Mercedes - Benz Closest to Pin in Two Shots played at the Par Four 10th hole, Chirag Shah landed the ball 10ft 8 inches from the pin to win. The Mercedes-Benz Straightest Drive contest played on Hole Two was won by Abhijit Ganguli as he landed his drive 2ft 11 inches from the straight 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.