First timer at Nirmayan, MHOW’s Mukesh Kumar showed his class as he won the Nirmayan Charity Pro Am 2017 with his amateur team mates AjayAnand, Ashok Hiremath and Sanjiv Malhotra with a 17 under. While their closest competitor RohanaAruna from Sri Lanka ended the evening closest with a 15 under. Defending Champion Shiv Kapur had hit an 18 under in 2015 and everyone was looking to break his spellbinding play.
Kumar, who has over 120 titles on the domestic circuit, recently was in the headlines with his biggest career win at his first international — Panasonic Open India. The humble and shy veteran is one of the oldest ranked golf players on the circuit at 51 years of age and a true representation that age is just a number! “I had a great time playing at this Pro-Am. In the last 32 years, I have never seen an event like this. Very few people have managed to achieve what Rajiv has done. It’s very good for amateurs and members who play in the Pro-Am because they get a chance to get coaching tips from the best like Shiv Kapur, Rashid and of course me!”
When asked if he knew that he had a shot at winning the Pro-Am, the golfer trained at the MHOW Army Golf Club said with a smile, “Well, there is always a chance at winning!” Even his team mates Ajay Anand & Ashok Hiremath seemed to enjoy their time on the course. “We had a great start. We started with a Birdie! Mukesh Kumar made it look so easy that we had a great time enjoying the weather, the beautiful Oxford Golf Course and the company!”
The evening’s prize distribution at the JW Marriot in Pune was an enjoyable one with Neha Sareen and golfer KunalBhasin holding fort during the auction. While Sareen thanked the prize winners and the better halves of the pro golfers with momentos from Swarovski, the winners of the Charity Pro Am took away exciting prizes. Mukesh Kumar won along with the glittery trophy from Swarovski from the defending champion Shiv Kumar and Pratham founder MadhavChavan – also won his team the stylish Callaway Golf Drivers, Invites to the Shiv Kapur Tournament.
The auction hosted by golfer KunalBhasin was an exciting one as Bhasin egged the audiences to dig deep into their pockets. Set off by Manisha Jaitha who won the first bid for an autographed bat for Pune’s IPL Super Giants 2016, the auction raised over 5 lakhs for Pratham Education Foundation. David Ferrer’s Autographed Shoes were picked up for Rs 50,000 by Shiv Kapur and Ujjwal Singh and businessman Kanwaljeet Singh bid 42,000 for AnirbanLahiri’s Golf Shoes worn at Rio’s Olympic 2016. Fierce bidding between restaurateur Wasim Khan and NikunjDhanuka bid fiercely for golfer AnirbanLahiri’s driver that he used to hit the winning long drive of 327 yards at the PGCA championship and was finally capped at 1,20,000! Sanjiv Malhotra outbid Pune builder AnantPandit for a signed Callaway bag by the pros of 1,15,000 while restaurateur Wasim Khan took home a dazzling Swarovski dragon.
However the big prize was for Sachin Tendulkar’s signed bat. Bidding between multiple parties and even a late bid providedall the drama that the ‘God of Cricket’ merits! The auction was closed by avid golfer Manisha Jaitha taking home the prized bat for 2,50,000.
She said post the winning bid, “It was for a good cause and one close to my heart.”
The evening was rounded off with Rajiv Datar thanking the golfers for making his dream come true. “The heart of this tournament are the pro golfers. Not one of them refused to play. Despite the fact that the Asian Tour starts tomorrow in Bangkok – 4 of the pros came to Pune, played and flew out from Mumbai tonight. That sort of family that Nirmayan has created has been truly encouraging!
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