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Golfers Amardip, Deepinder shine in US PGA qualifying round

New Delhi, Oct 1 (IANS) Indian golfers Amardip and Deepinder got the opportunity to take a shot at qualifying for the worlds richest and most competitive tour -- the US PGA tour -- thanks to the initiative by the ECU Indo-American Professional Golf Association (IAPGA).

Under the scheme, 10 of India's top pro golfers competed on the ECU IAPGA Tour that was staged in seven different cities across the US in August-September. In the end, Amardip and Deepinder emerged victorious to earn the right to compete in the qualifying rounds of the US PGA tour with the ECU IAPGA taking care of their entry fees and all expenses.

Amardip, playing at the Bear Creek Golf Club in Murrieta, California, finished tied 47th with a card of 74,70,74 and 75 to finish with a total of five over 293, while Deepinder carded an even 280 with scores of 74, 66 and 70 and 70 over the course of four days to end tied 50th at the Florence Country Club, Florence.

That was, however, not good enough for either of them to make it to the second stage and eventually into the lucrative US Tour.

As per the rules, only the top 25 in Stage 1 progress to the next round, before they finally make it into the elite list.

Meerut's Amardip remained upbeat after his performance, thanking the ECU IAPGA for giving him this wonderful chance. "It is a confidence-booster that I came so close. I am sure I will make it next year," he was quoted as saying in a statement.

"But for one or two bad holes out of the total 54, I would have finished in a much better position," added Gurgaon's Deepinder. "I hope we are setting the ball rolling for young Indian kids and showing them that getting on the US Tour is not impossible."

The eight pros played in tough and varied conditions on the ECU IAPGA Tour in Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Houston, Dallas and New York. Last year too the ECU IAPGA Tour helped PGTI members Sujjan Singh and Mandeo Singh Pathania to participate in the US Q-School.

No Indian has qualified for the Web.com Tour since 2010 when Kolkata pro Rahil Gangjee earned that distinction through the Qualifying School. Arjun Atwal, the only Indian with the distinction of winning a title on the PGA Tour (2010 Wyndham Championship), competed on the Web.com Tour and even went on to win the 2008 Chattanooga Classic to ease his entry into the PGA Tour.

Swedish golfer of Indian descent, Daniel Chopra, has two PGA Tour titles and three wins on the Web.com Tour.

Besides 34-year-old Amardip and 31-year-old Deepinder, other PGTI professionals who competed in the 20-day long ECU IAPGA Tour included Mandeo Pathania who is based in Toronto, Angad Cheema and Abhijit Chadha of Chandigarh, Pranav Kaul and Gunvir Rana of Delhi, Syed Saquib Ahmed from Bengaluru, Karan Taunk of Jamshedpur and IAPGA founder Gurbaaz Mann who is based in Ohio.

--IANS

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