Sunday, August 22, 2010

Congratulations to Arjun Atwal

Arjun Atwal became the first Indian to win a tournament on the US PGA Tour. It was a special achievement for him considering he's the first qualifier to win an event on the tour in 24 years. Not that the Sports Authority of India has contributed anything to his success, or that of the likes of Jeev Milkha Singh and Shiv Kapur for that matter, but I hope this win gets adequate coverage in the print and electronic media here. The sheer size of our population means there are plenty of people who have the time and resources to play and follow the sport. Promoted well, golf tournaments can bring in a lot of money to cities hosting them - A point that is lost on most people when they talk about sporting events. Just think of the number of jobs the IPL has created, not to mention the money it brings to various industries (Airline, Hotel, Power, Catering, etc.)

I'm watching various news channels to see if they've put it on breaking news - They haven't. I'd like to think it's because the time is 2:48 am right now, although that shouldn't be an excuse for channels where there is always someone to track the news filtering in from the rest of the world. Considering Atwal was either in the lead or tied for it at the end of each of the first three rounds, someone should have followed his progress. All this makes these news channels campaigns in support of our athletes rather hollow. What is their credibility if they can't even report a first in Indian golf but cry themselves hoarse everytime the Olympics and Asian Games come around?

2 comments:

  1. Good to see an Indian reach heights.. Way to go Arjun ! Well done..

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  2. The most famous son of my little town!

    golf is an expensive sport to learn and follow, and thus we can take the middle class out of the equation. It's only the ultra rich (Arjun, Shiv, Rahil, Jyoti), the poor ex-caddy (SSP) or the otherwise provided for (Jeev) who have a shot at the game. Size is a major factor, there are so many golf courses all around the US, that playing a round is never a problem, while in India, the links are so few you would need the power of a major benefactor (in simpler terms, a rich dad) to actually pursue the game.
    And I think we already have the critical mass, we are on the cusp of a golf breakthrough.

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