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PGTI defiant but still hopeful of merger

Written by: Staff
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Greater Noida, Oct 24 (UNI) Maintaining that they represent the players' interest, the breakaway group today announced that they are still optimistic about a merger with the Professional Golf Association of India (PGAI).

Talking to reporters ahead of the BILT Open, the first event to be conducted by the dissident Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI), top player Shiv Kapur said, ''We were not happy with the running of PGAI and so broke away. But down the road, I think a merger would do us good. I can tell you that we are open to the idea but they should have to ensure a few things and there should be a set of rules in place before that.'' Claiming that PGTI would run tournaments more professionally, Shiv invited all the players to join the new body.

''We would like to invite all to join PGTI and see how we run it,'' he said.

Jyoti Randhawa, fresh from his India Open triumph, said PGTI wants to ensure that the professional golfers earn more money and markleting agents don't call the shots.

''PGTI has already confirmed seven events this year and in most of the cases, the prize money would be Rs 50-60 lakh. So golfers have chances to win more in the PGTI events.

''Personally I'm not against a merger but what they were doing was just not done. Players were made to play in the peak of summer and peak of winter. Things were just not professionally run and at PGTI, we would look after that,'' he added.

He rued players like Vijay Kumar and Mukesh Kumar could not play in the BILT Open for staying with PGAI and said, ''We would have loved to have them here but you can't actually help.'' Kolkata pro Rahil Gangjee urged all the players to join PGTI to safeguard their interest.

''When majority of the top players have joined PGTI and the sponsors are coming forward to support us, there should not be any confusion. At te end of the day, the professional golfer should earn as much as possible and PGTI gives you the best chance to earn more.

''You might see some teething problem as we have just started but already we have put a team in place and things would soon fall in place,'' he said.

UNI AY DH RK1735

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