Bengaluru: PGTI regular Anura Rohana who is representing Navratna Ahmedabad team at 4th Louis Philippe Cup at Karnataka Golf Association that begins today, finds India just the right place for Sri Lankan golfers. Winning the only prestigious tournament in his country Sri Lankan Open four times as a junior, Rohana joined the PGTI in 2003 after taking a loan from one of the key golfers in Sri Lanka,
“I grew up playing golf at Royal Colombo Golf Course and when I was winning the Sri Lankan Open as an amateur, Sanjeev Nayak, Chairman of IBM followed me on the course. He was impressed with my performance and helped me with money so that I can travel to India for Pro events. I returned his money within few years after turning pro,” noted Rohana.
“India is the closest country to us and tournaments like Louis Philippe Cup allows us to make good money for the entire year. And if you win this kind of tournament, you are sorted for at least 3-4 tournaments when you don’t have to worry about travel and accommodation for other tournaments in far off destinations,” elaborated the 2002 Asian Games Silver Medalist Rohana.
Rohana who gets country spots in 7-8 tournaments on Asian Tour said, “I wish our sports authority could have funds to support golf in our country. We have the potential and we can really make it big if given more opportunities and facilities.”
Like Rohana, other Sri Lankan players who play on the Indian domestic circuit regularly are Mithun Perera, N Thangaraja and K. Prabagaran. Agreeing with Rohana, Asian Tour regular Perera said, “I wouldn’t have ever gone away from my family if we had a tour like PGTI in Sri Lanka. I am happy that we have a platform in India which gives us enough opportunities to gain knowledge about the game before we graduate to the next level like Asian Tour, European Tour and PGA Tour.”
Son of a caddy Rohana, 42, who has played Louis Philippe Cup for TAKE Chennai team in the first two years, is thrilled to be a part of his countryman’s Mithun Perera team.
“Mithun’s and my short game is really good and the worst round at this course you can have could be four-under in current conditions. Our team-mate Shankar Das who is the winner of 2014 PGTI Order of Merit, is also a very impactful player. Since Mithun has already won this tournament twice, he knows what it takes to win such a prestigious event. We are proud to be in his team and ready to add low numbers to the tally,” added Rohana.