4 putts, out of bounds, hazards, illegal pins, Iwannamaker leaderboards, choking, gagging, run away wins, playoffs, first time winners, the Kulkarni Towel, designer clothes, amazing food, and of course the thing we live for.....another ONLY IN IAGA moment. It was all there at the 2017 IAGA Club Championship.
Sometimes an event with lowered expectations exceeds even the highest, and we sure had that at BRIDGES golf course last weekend as 52 golfers chased the coveted Championship Trophies of their respective flights and the Overall 2017 IAGA CLUB Champion for 2017 was crowned!!!!
Bridges golf course. All month we had heard of how bad the course conditions were. How it was just a bad choice for the Championship. And feedback for alternative venues. At the end of the day, Bridges provided us what we always seek from a Club Championship........GREAT COMPETITION (everyone is playing the same course) and MEMORABLE MOMENTS!!!!
The course was in good condition and thanks to the work of the IAGA committee with the course, the greens were rolled each day and the play was fantastic. YES, there were 5 illegal pin positions over 2 days despite our strong statements to the pro to be sure to avoid those, but we cannot control which side of the bed the hole puncher wakes up on. As it turns out, those illegal pins, made for a dramatic result in the final 4 holes of the Championship. Nobody survived them and yet the winners had to overcome them. And they did!!!!
Congratulations to the CHAMPIONS OF 2017. You DEFINITELY earned this one by SURVIVING the MONSTER!!!!
- 2017 Club Champion, in a dramatic from off the green putt for par during the Playoff, is ADITYA RANJAN. He defeats a strong KABIR SINGH and overcomes a final round gross 90 to take the MAHARAJA TROPHY. A final round 90 will pale in comparison to other final round Championships, but sometimes that 90 is like a 72. And at BRIDGES on the final day, with all the carnage all around the course, ADITYA RANJAN's 90 was what was needed to get it done as ALL his chasers could not do any better!!!! ADITYA RANJAN puts his name on the tradition that is the MAHARAJA Trophy in his FIRST year in IAGA. With the game he brings, and being a 20 something, he may get it on there many more times!!!
- ANOTHER well played event from KABIR SINGH, not only put him in the MAHARAJA playoff, but allowed him to capture his third LOW GROSS award in 2017. His two day total of 163 earned him the LOW GROSS CHAMPIONSHIP AWARD!!!! Congrats for some terrific play on a tough venue KABIR!!!
- You may have heard this name a few times this year. SUNIL MAYUR. Well hear it ONE MORE TIME as SUNIL was the sole RUN AWAY and hide winner of the TIGER Flight as he captures his very first TIGER Championship trophy in his very first attempt. This has been SUNIL MAYUR's year in IAGA as he has dominated the flight all year. The natural progression will be to the Maharaja flight next year, but for 2017....CONGRATS SUNIL on a GRAND FINALE to a GRAND year!!!!!
- With all the new comers dominating the top 2 Flights, was there going to be a sweep by Millineals of the IAGA Championships with the COBRA Flight?? NOT if VISHAL GOYAL and ASHOK VAID had anything to say about it. AND THEY DID!!! In another dramatic finish, ASHOK VAID was "out of it" with 4 holes left. VISHAL was going to lock things up easily with his consistent play over the final four holes. He was the leader in the clubhouse with a four shot lead. But then, VAID caught fire and came home with with a GRAND FINISH to tie GOYAL on the final hole of play!!!! ANOTHER PLAYOFF!!!! And the PLAYOFF winner was one of our most enthusiastic members...VISHAL GOYAL!!!! Congrats to both for giving us a GRAND FINALE in the Cobra Flight!!!
FANTASTIC FINISHES, FANTASTIC CHOKES, FANTASTIC ICE IN VEINS, FANTASTIC FINALES!!!! Congrats to ALL winners of the 2017 IAGA Championships. YOU TRULY MADE IT MEMORABLE!!!!
But we are not done yet...........there is sooooooooo much more to share!!!! You don't wanna miss the ONLY IN IAGA moment!!!
As we have always done, we want to bring everyone into the mix and so we conduct Day 1 and Day 2 NET competitions at the Club Championship to keep things interesting for ALL. Here are the results of the rest of the Championship competitions!!!:
- LOW NET OVERALL DAY 1: MILIND DANGE
- LOW NET OVERALL DAY 2: ASHOK VAID
- CLOSEST TO THE PIN: RAJ GAUTAM - Almost a hole in one!!! Yes he made the birdie!!!!
- LONG DRIVE MAHARAJA: ABI VICKRAM
- LONG DRIVE TIGER: RAJIV MALIK
- TONS OF SKINS WINS are shown on the Attached Payoff sheet
Congrats to all who were able to cash in with strong play in the 2017 IAGA Club Championships!!!
And then the drama came down to the GRAND FINALE raffle. With all participants enjoying a post round banquet catered by Wahjiwah and a full bar compliments of IAGA, the GRAND RAFFLE excitement was building to see who would be the recipient of the KULKARNI TOWEL.....would he win it for a 4th straight time?? And the winner was (Suhas Kulkarni drew the ticket to make sure it was a fair draw).............PREET AULAKH!!!! PREET was a great sport as he smiled as he was handed the black towel, which matched his black outfit that day. It was meant to go to fashionista PREET!!!!
The GRAND Prize of the SURFACE PRO Laptop was won by MILIND DANGE!!! While Club Champion ADITYA RANJAN walked away with TWO GOOGLE HOME pods. Some people have all the luck!!!!
Before we bring the curtain down on 2017, there were some intense competitions that were running for the 2017 IAGA Golfing year......more affectionately known as the MATCH PLAY CHAMPIONSHIPS. These events bring out the best in IAGA as they are head to head competitions which test the skills under pressure as well as the sportsman spirit which resides (or doesn't) in each of us. These matches went down to the wire and there was excitement had by all!!! Our 2017 IAGA Match Play Champions are:
- JANG BADHESHA wins the INDIVIDUAL Match Play Championship over SAMIT RAO on the 18th hole of the final match!!!! Congrats to both. It doesn't get much better than that for DRAMA!!!! and it's always nice to take home a $1000 Championship check from IAGA and a $600 runner up cash in!!! Cha Ching for the winner and runner up!!!
- ABI VICKRAM teamed with KIRAN CHAUDHRI to form a powerful duo in the TEAM Match Play Championships. They were pitted up against formidable opponents in BJ DESAI and ABHI DESAI who had been dominating their competition. The DESAI duo met their match in ABI & KIRAN as the VICKRAM/CHAUDHRI team dominated the DESAI duo with a 5 and 4 victory!!!! Congrats to all for making this finals and to ABI & KIRAN for your dominating Championship win. The winners cash in with a $1000 award they will share as the runner up team earns $500 to share!!!
IF you have not played in the MATCH Play Championships, be sure to enter early in 2018 as these sell out FAST and they are tons of fun......AND they count towards your minimum 3 event qualifying for the Club Championship. And there gig $$$ in the Match Play Championships to be had!!!!
While IAGA is set up to reward and recognize top play at all levels in all different forms, as evidenced by all the payouts above, there is one Award that is representative of consistency throughout the IAGA Season. The player who is always in the hunt and breaks through for the win or finishes in the $$$ is one who is acknowledged by the GOLFER OF THE YEAR Trophy!!! The recipients of the GOY for 2017 are:
- MAHARAJA Flight - VINEET SHARMA
- TIGER Flight - SUNIL MAYUR
- COBRA Flight - ZOHEB MUKHI
These players showed up and were near the leaderboard in every event they entered. This will be SUNIL and ZOHEB's first Golfer of the Year, while VINEET will now own this title twice in his 20 year IAGA career (but no Maharaja....again!!!!) Congrats to all Golfer of the Year winners!!!! Well played all year!!!!
Our final award for 2017 to be recognized was newly introduced for 2017. It recognizes the BEST GROSS round of the year played from the BLUE TEES. It was dominated by one of our JUNIORS who played exceptional golf in every IAGA event he entered. KRIPA DHARAN earns the PLAYERS AWARD for a GROSS 73 at a tough EAGLE VINES venue!!!! Congrats KRIPA!!!
And in conclusion we must bring you the ONLY IN IAGA moment. With the Club Championship final round shaping up to be a dramatic finish all around, PLAYER A finds himself on one of the hillsides with his ball in a crack in the ground. Per the rules announced, this allows him to take a free drop no nearer the hole. It was determined his nearest point would keep him on the hillside. As he dropped his ball, it rolled beyond the one club length, which allowed him to PLACE his ball where the ball touched the ground on his 2nd drop. PLAYER A could not get the ball to stay. He tried and tried again. In an effort to demonstrate that he can get the ball to stay, his competitor, PLAYER B came and placed his ball behind a small twig in the area of his placement. No violation yet. All good. BUT THEN PLAYER A, in frustration with the arguments within the group, HITS the ball that PLAYER B placed and proceeds to finish the hole. WHAT IS THE RULING???? Is a player allowed to hit a ball that a competitor has put into play (other than on the green)?? NO!!! WHAT IS THE RULING?? ONLY IN IAGA!!!! IT LEAVES THE COMMITTEE SHAKING OUR COLLECTIVE HEADS ONCE AGAIN!!!! And we cannot find the ruling in the USGA rule book and have turned the matter over to NCGA. See you at the 2018 Season Opener with the answer!!!!! ONLY IN IAGA!!!!
AND with that ONLY IN IAGA moment.....we bring the 2017 IAGA Tour to a DRAMATIC conclusion.
We thank each and every one of our seasoned members and brand new members. Our Seniors and our Juniors. Our Maharaja and Tiger and Cobra players who always want to improve. Our committee members who work tirelessly on our behalf (sometimes only to hear.....Hey, the beer is finished....you didn't order enough beer for the post round banquet!!!!).
At the end of the day we love it all. We love the friendships that have been formed. We love the competition. We love the controversy. We love the debates on how to make IAGA better. We love the membership profiles. And we love that YOU SHOW UP to make IAGA a MEMORABLE experience ONCE a MONTH!!!!
We hope to see you in many more events in 2018. Have a FANTASTIC DIWALI and holiday season. We will return in December for your renewals and to get the sign ups started for the 2018 MATCH PLAY CHAMPIONSHIPS!!!!
2018 WILL ALL KICKOFF WITH OUR TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS AT YOCHA DE HE IN FEBRUARY!!!! CAN'T WAIT!!!!............
STAY WARM AND SEND YOUR FRIENDS TO IAGA TO SIGN UP IN THE OFFSEASON!!