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Happy with the tournament I hosted

Discussions under way for Shubhkamna Champions to become an annual event

Gulf News

Last week was my last tournament of the year and it turned out to be an extremely busy week. I was the host of the Shubhkamna Champions, a three-day tournament which featured some of the finest Indian golfers.

I may be a bit biased in my opinion, but it really was a very well-organised event. My concept was for it to be a “tournament of champions”, and we set the field at 30. That comprised 20 winners from the PGTI Tour, the domestic tour of India, and the top 10 international stars from the country.

And what a field it turned out to be. We had guys such as Arjun Atwal, the only Indian to win a PGA Tour event; Daniel Chopra, whom I consider more Indian than Swedish; and Jyoti Randhawa. There were also Gaganjeet Bhullar, Anirban Lahiri and Himmat Rai.

In the end, it was Shiv Kapur who won the tournament with his weekend rounds of 66 and 65. Shiv had not won any tournament in the past seven years and he is too talented a player for that kind of a record. So I was very happy to see him get back to the podium and hope this opens the floodgates for him. Having lost his European Tour card, it was a great way to end the season for him.

All the players loved the tournament and so did the fans. I was actually surprised by the number of spectators we had during the three days. I must thank all my fellow golfers, my main sponsors Piyush Tiwari and Shubhkamna and Rishi Narain, who managed the tournament for us.

Piyush, who owns Shubhkamna, and I want to make it an annual event and are already thinking of making it a full-field event and get it co-sanctioned by the Asian PGA Tour and PGTI Tour. We will start discussing it with both the organisations very soon.

The only sour note was the timing of the event, as it coincided with the very sad developments in Delhi, following the gang rape of a 23-year-old girl in a moving bus. There have been massive demonstrations in India the last few days, and all the players were affected and saddened. We wore black ribbons during the tournament to show our solidarity with the victim, and I donated my earnings towards her medical costs as she fights for her life.

I am now looking forward to a week of quality time with the family. We are spending Christmas and the New Year at home in Delhi. My first tournament in 2013 will be the Volvo Golf Champions in Durban, followed by the Desert Swing.

Here’s wishing you all a very Happy New Year!

(Jeev Milkha Singh is a four-time champion on the European Tour)