Darshan, Maniam to the fore

Special Correspondent

Chennai: It was not all fun and frolic. The festive ambience at the Cosmo Golf course on Saturday was laced with a touch of intensity as the annual ICICI Bank Private Bank Masters 2007 got underway.

The response was unprecedented touching the three-figure mark forcing the organisers to restrict entries to ease the pressure on the course.

Into the third year, the high profile event by ICICI is expected to feature 1,200 competitors from different cities. Reckoned as the largest invitational corporate event in the country, the 2007 edition has an added attraction — the CEO’s Cup — designed for CEOs and MDs of prominent organisations. The winner will have the privilege of playing alongside the ICICI brand ambassador, Shiv Kapur, at the British Masters next year. The CEO’s Cup is scheduled in New Delhi early next year.

The competition in 2007-08 will be spread over 16 cities. Apart from Chennai, which saw the launch on Saturday, the other cities hosting the event are: Goa, Coimbatore, Belgaum, Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Pune, Delhi, Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Thiruvananthapuram, Mumbai, Kolkata, Jamshedpur, Bangalore and Jaipur.

One of the highlights is the Junior Talent Search programme conceptualised by Shiv Kapur. All the winners will assemble in Bangalore for a coaching stint with Kapur.

The championship on Saturday witnessed some close contests, with Darshan Veerararagahvan (Gross) and Varun Maniam (Nett) capturing the top prizes.

N. Vaghul, Chairman, ICICI Bank, was the chief guest at the prize distribution function.

The results:

Closest to the pin (13th hole): A. Chummar Varghese (11 ft.8 in); Longest Drive (7th): Yudhvir (287 yards);

Winners: Gross: Darshan Veeraragahvan (Score-37, Handicap 2); Nett: Varun Maniam (41-24); First runner-up: Gross: Yudhvir (28-3); Nett: Ravi Srinivasan (38-18); Second runner-up: Gross: K. Kumaran (28-5); Nett:

Ms. Rupa (35-24).

Junior Talent Search: Winner: Tarun Veeraraghavan; Runners-up: Akshat Vaidynathan and Neeraja.

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