AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE
Published — Monday 11 February 2013
Last update 10 February 2013 11:42 pm
NEW DELHI: Former British Open champion Darren Clarke yesterday led his four-man team to victory in a franchise-based golf tournament inspired by cricket’s Indian Premier League.
Clarke’s Uttarakhand Lions picked up the winner’s check of $250,000 by a one-stroke margin in a dramatic finish to the Golf Premier League at the Aamby Valley course near the western Indian city of Pune.
The Lions, co-owned by Indian Test spinner Harbhajan Singh, finished three 14-hole stroke play rounds at 34-under 406, one ahead of the second-placed teams of Punjab Lancers and Delhi Darts.
Clarke, who was bought by the Lions for $55,000 at an auction in Mumbai last month, celebrated his victory with teammates Mukesh Kumar and Shankar Das of India, and Thailand’s Chapchai Nirat.
“It could have got closer than that,” he said. “Just goes to show how exciting golf can be. It’s been fun playing here over the last three days. Hope the fans enjoyed it too.” The televised $400,000 floodlit tournament featured eight teams battling it out in the shortened format. Each team comprised two international-level players, an Asian Tour star and an upcoming Indian player.
Former US Open champion Michael Campbell, who fetched the highest purse of $61,000 at the auction, finished in fourth place with his Shubhkamna Eagles team at under-32 408.
Two-time Major winner Angel Cabrera’s Maharashtra 59’ers were fifth at under-23 417, ahead of teams from Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Colombo.
The Colombo 6’s, the lone foreign franchise in the league, were promoted by Sri Lanka’s cricket captain Mahela Jayawardene.
The tournament was organized by Indian professional and Asian Tour star Shiv Kapur.