What a GRAND FINALE it was!!!! We had drama all around and in every flight as they all went down to the final few holes. With the gorgeous weather. The perfect greens. The challenge of the wind changing directions from one 9 to the next. The tightness of the players as they experienced true competitive golf at its best at our levels, it was a FUNTASTIC FINISH.
We had members lined up around the 18th green as the final groups came in on day 2. As all four flight leaders had tee'd off on #1, we were able to watch the final putts that decided the Champions of every flight with a great rooting section standing on the hill with beers in hand. What a great and fun environment. ONLY IN IAGA as the MC and BC's were flowing. The well wishers complementing. The haters wishing for the implosion. The true fans just hoping to see a fantastic finish!!!! And they got it all!!!!
We had a great start to the event with a superb breakfast event with a record 65 players entered for the Club Championship. Just 4 years ago, the GRAND FINALE field consisted of 32 players. We have doubled the size of the field in just 4 years. And that is significant as it means these players played at least 3 events during the year (with SELLOUT fields in every event in 2018!!!). That is GRAND support for IAGA and tremendous passion for the game by our members. STANDING OVATION TO IAGA MEMBERS.....YOU ROCK!!!!!
As stated at the Awards lunch........IAGA exists for 4 reasons:
- Provide a forum to our members for true competitive golf.
- Allow you to develop and learn about golf the way it is meant to be played...with integrity, sportsmanship, and passion.
- Allow you to build lifetime friendships around golf.
- For the community.....our golfing community through the longevity of IAGA, and to those not so fortunate as we raise funds for charity. We raised over $3500 for charity in 2018.
Thanks to each of you for owning the existence of IAGA and making it a fantastic experience for all. Let's make it even better in 2019!!!!
Our mantra for the 2018 Club Championship and going forward is NO CHU CHU!!!! If there are areas you feel need improvement, please take the lead and let us know that you feel there are areas we can do better in. Most importantly, as our handicap chairman, BJ Desai did, take ownership of the issue and become a valued contributor to the betterment of IAGA. We are eager to have others join in the shaping of a better IAGA. Come share your thoughts and get involved in shaping the future of IAGA.
Now onto the dramatic results:
- Our closest to the Pin on hole #7: The Doc does it again....KANWALJIT MANN - $50
- Long Drive for MAHARAJA.....SHRIRAJ GAGLANI....quickest hands in IAGA - $50
- Long Drive TIGER/COBRA....RAJESH HOODA - $50
- GOLFERS OF THE YEAR..........
- MAHARAJA Flight - First timer ASHISH BHATNAGAR dominates!!!
- TIGER Flight - Hottest golfer.....HARSHA SASTRY
- COBRA Flight - Mr. Consistent....PRASAD UPADHYAYULA
- MATCH PLAY CHAMPIONS: INDIVIDUAL
- $600 Maharaja Champion / $500 Tiger / $400 Cobra - $100 to each runner up. ($$$ payout based on size of field)
- MAHARAJA Flight - PREET AULAKH takes down Shekhar Halakatti
- TIGER Flight - BAQI KHAN defeats Kulwant Sidhu
- COBRA Flight - RAVI PINDIPROLI dominates Anirudh Joshi
- MATCH PLAY CHAMPIONS - TEAM
- $1000 to winning team / $500 to runner ups
- ADITYA RANJAN / PRASAD UPADHYAYULA ham and egg perfectly to take down heavy favorites Vishal Wadhwa / Suhas Kulkarni
- For those who went aggressive on Day 1 of the Championship and shot themselves out of contention, we conducted a DAY 2 standalone competition for Low GROSS and Low NET.
- LOW GROSS - JANG BADHESHA .......GROSS 82.......wins $100
- LOW NET - ABHI DESAI ......NET 70......wins $100
COBRA CUP CHAMPION:
Now a two time winner of the COBRA CUP, KUNAL VERMA was in a hole by hole battle with PRABHJOT DEVGAN.....they changed leads just about every hole till KUNAL pulled away to win by 3 shots at the end.
TIGER CUP CHAMPION:
While the final results look like a domination, it was anything but during the first 12 holes in the TIGER flight. 4 players held the lead on the final 9 holes at one time. Our FIRST TIME Tiger Cup Champion ZOHEB MUKHI found his game and took over in the final holes.
Will it be MUNISH MEHTA.....SUNIL MEHTA......no neither one....lookout, here come RAJ GAUTAM and JANG BADHESHA. RAJ needed his final putt from 15 feet to get in the playoff. But not to be. So it was down to the battle of the MEHTA's. With SUNIL in the clubhouse with his bogey on 18, MUNISH needed to make a 3 footer to take SUNIL into a playoff. Competitive golf at it's best. With a gallery of IAGA members watching. Cheeks get tight. Things happen. Unfortunately, MUNISH could make it happen and SUNIL MEHTA squeaks out the CHAMPIONSHIP!!!!
It was a 4 horse race when this BRAND NEW flight started the Championship. It was a 4 horse race at the start of Day 2. After 9 holes, it became a head to head match play between 5 time Club Champion PRADEEP BAKSHI and terrific talent and GROSS dominator during the regular season, KABIR SINGH. With PRADEEP nursing a 3 shot lead going into 17 thanks to two 30 foot birdies during the round.......KABIR had a chance to close the gap to 1 with an 80 yard approach shot. This is IAGA....this is Championship competition. Anything can happen. And it did. KABIR caught a flyer lie and blasted his ball over the green and then struggled on his up and down attempt to a double bogey. With a bogey on 17, PRADEEP was able to extend lead to 4 shots and the rest was history as he puts his name on the first ever IAGA GROSS CHAMPIONSHIP Trophy!!!!
CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL OF OUR 2018 IAGA Tour CHAMPIONS and regular season winners!!!! What a GRAND way to end the season......oh wait ...it didn't end quite yet......there was one more GRAND DRAMA to be had!!! THE KULKARNI TOWEL had to be awarded.
We had SUHAS KULKARNI (3 time towel winner in the raffle) do the honors of picking the first raffle ticket. Lucky for him he DID NOT pull his own number. He did pull ANIRUDH JOSHI as the lucky recipient of the KULKARNI TOWEL!!!!! Congrats to ANIRUDH and to all of our GRAND RAFFLE winners.
OH but wait....the GRAND FINALE is still not FINAL. WE CAN'T forget about the GRAND RABBIT!!!! We had over $1300 bet in the RABBIT RACE. The RABBIT, VINEET SHARMA, had a decent showing. He did not get abused as in years past so he WILL return for the 2019 Season at random moments. There were plenty of winners who got a piece of the RABBIT!!!! As is the case with ALL of the Championship and Season Winners, ALL WINNERS, including the RABBIT winners will be paid via PAYPAL.
And NOW THE GRAND FINALE is FINAL!!!!! Thank you to ALL our members for a GRAND Season!!!!
We will be back at you in November for the JUNIOR/SENIOR Team event where you get a chance to play with your kid as a team!!!! Don't let them lose because of YOU!!!
Then, before you know it, our focus will be on 2019 with the RENEWALS starting in December for the 2019 season!!! The official 2019 Season will begin in FEBRUARY with the annual YOCHA DE HE kickoff event. BEFORE YOCHA, be on the lookout for 2019 Match Play signups in January.
Have a GRAND off season gang. Wishing all of you a Happy DIWALI and safe holiday season!!!!