Edinburgh – In an unprecedented first, Indian David D’Souza won the World finals of Duke of Edinburgh Cup golf here.
At the end of round 1 played Tuesday at the Moor Park Country Club, a hilly course splattered by rain, D’Souza, playing off a Handicap of 5, scored 39 points calculated in the Stableford point format which had him tied at the lead with two worthy competitors.
On round 2 played at Mill Ride Golf Course, which is reputed for its hilly terrain and multiple water bodies, he continued to stay in the lead, scoring 37 points.
The Bangalore-based D’Souza edged out South African competitor by a single point to end as the overall winner with a best total individual score across the 36 holes.
“I got off to a bad start on the first day with a double bogey as my ball was buried in the bunker wall and playing on the course for the first time, it was difficult to gauge distance and direction, especially through the green spreads,” commented D’souza who had qualified to play at the cup, by recording the best gross score at September’s Toyota Karnataka Golf Festival held at KGA in Bangalore.
Further elaborating on his experience, D’Souza, who was quick to celebrate his victory on the doorsteps of royalty said: “I played really solid and am really happy to win the Duke of Edinburgh Cup in India’s first entry to the tournament.
“We also met great people from around the world and have made new lifelong friends and sometimes that’s the real value of being at a global tournament like this.”
D’Souza, hailing from what is arguably the first family of golf in Bangalore, has come a long way since he picked up the sport as a 16-year-old, winning the first tournament he ever played at the Belur Club in Coorg.
As one of the top amateurs in the country in the past, D’Souza has also won the Indian open in 1987 and has been a single handicapper for 30 years.
D’Souza, who will receive the winner’s trophy from the Earl of Wessex at a formal ceremony Thursday, was accompanied to the greens of Windsor by two other Indians, General Abhi Parmar and Michael Williams of Delhi who had qualified to participate after their performances at the Toyota India Golf Festival played at Qutab Golf Club, New Delhi.