Saturday, March 16, 2013

Aiken takes three-shot lead into the final day of Avantha Masters

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Greater NOIDA, March 16: Thomas Aiken, who chose golf ahead of cricket and tennis, because it offered better scenery, could enjoy it even more on Sunday as he grabbed a three-shot lead going into the final day of the Avantha Masters at the Jaypee Greens Resort. His three-shot lead in a tournament that has been very tight thus, indicated that the lovely Avantha Masters could once again be headed to South Africa for the second year running, taking over from Jbe Kruger, who missed the cut on Friday.

Aiken, a competent fast bowler at the provincial level, was also proficient in tennis in his mid-teens. He finally opted for golf and is now beginning to reap the benefits of the sport, besides enjoying the sights it brings with it.

Firing eight birdies and an eagle in a stunning 10-under round, bettered only by the 61 on first day Chinnarat Phadungsil, Aiken is now 18-under and three clear of the overnight co-leader Liang Wen-chong ((69). Kiradech Aphibarnrat, playing two groups ahead of Aiken also had a 30 for front nine like the South African, but he managed only a 36 with one eagle and two bogeys on back nine, while Aiken shot 32. Kiradech, whose only win on Asian Tour, came at SAIL Open in 2011, is now tied third with David Drysdale (68) at 14-under while big-hitting Scott Hend (68) was tied fifth with Joonas Granberg (69) and Tommy Fleetwood (69) at 13-under.

Gaganjeet Bhullar moved up to tied eighth as the top Indian following a flawless five-under 67 that brought him to 12-under for the week, six behind Aiken. Bhullar, who had 17 greens admitted his round was better today but felt he need to putt better to further move up.
Jeev Milkha Singh with six birdies and three bogeys shot 69 and was tied 17th at 10-under.
Anirban Lahiri (70) and Rahil Gangjee (72) were tied 23rd at nine-under, while Jyoti Randhawa (68) showed glimpses of his old form and moved to eight-under in tied 32nd.
Abhijit Chadha was unable to conjure up the same magic as first two days and dropped four shots in last five holes and ended with a 74 that saw him drop to tied 37th, alongside Himmat Rai (68), Ashok Kumar (70) at seven-under. Manav Jaini (69) was tied 45th at six-under.
Aiken’s iron play was spellbinding as he moved from four behind to three in front. “I concentrated very hard to play one shot at a time and it seemed to work,” said Aiken. “It just shows what can happen. I got off to a great start – holing a pitch shot on the second for eagle always helps – and from then on I just stuck to my game plan. All in all I’m very pleased with the way I played.” Having also birdied the first, Aiken’s slice of fortune on the second saw him three under through two holes.

Some sensational approach play allowed him to birdie the fifth, seventh, eighth, tenth and 11th without having to make a putt of more than ten feet, and after being briefly caught by Kiradech Aphibarnrat, the 29 year old responded with a two-putt birdie at the long 15th and a 12 foot gain at the next.

Aiken, whose only European Tour win was the 2011 Open de Espana, said, “I’ve been playing very well the last four months and just haven’t converted opportunities.” This season his best has been tied sixth at the Joburg Open.

“Fortunately this week I’ve converted a lot of the opportunities that I’ve had; the majority of them have gone in from inside ten feet and that’s what makes the difference from a scoring point of view.”

India’s top man this week thus far, Bhullar said, “It was much better than previous two days. I have been hitting the ball consistently well, and even finding a lot of greens. I had a lot of greens in regulation. It was 17 yesterday and again 17 today. I missed only one green in regulation today. But the putts have not fallen. However, it was better today as compared to the first two days.”

On the takeaways from the second round, Bhullar added, “But the positive I am taking from today’s round is that I had no bogeys. Anytime you shoot four-five birdies and no bogeys it feels good. Today on the 8th, I had a superb 40-50 footer for birdie and then on the par-5 15th, I was sitting on six-foot eagle, but I just missed it closely. I used a 3-Wood and 3-Iron and landed within six feet. I had earlier birdied the par-5 12th.”

Jeev had mixed feelings as he said, “I am getting the birdies alright, but I am also dropping too many bogeys. In three days I have dropped eight bogeys and that’s just too much. I had as many as six birdies today, but I gave back three of them. On the first day seven birdies and I dropped three bogeys. So, that tells you the story. Maybe, I am getting very aggressive on this course. But that’s also what is required because the course if there for the taking. Every now and then someone is going really deep and low.”
Overnight joint-leader Liang is closest to Aiken following a 69. Liang was  left him 15 under – the Chinese star’s efforts undone by two bogeys on the front nine after missing putts from inside two feet.

Thailand’s Aphibarnrat, who briefly held a share of the lead when he splashed in from a bunker for an eagle at the long 12th, and Scotland’s David Drysdale are tied for third on 14 under after both dropped shots late in the day.

Aphibarnrat had also raced to the turn in 30 with six birdies in eight holes, but bogeyed the tenth after missing a three footer for par.
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The Nehru Memorial Museum and Library
cordially invites you to a

Conference

at 9:00 a.m. on Monday-Tuesday, 18-19 March 2013
in the Seminar Room, First Floor, Library Building

Texts, Critics and the World:
Conversations in the Humanities

in association with
Prof. Dipesh Chakrabarty, University of Chicago
Concept note:
The textual and the visual have been prominent preoccupations of the humanities. How do traces of the past speak to contemporary concerns and shape our viewing and reading? How do events from our times produce traces which demand new approaches and new forms of critical attentiveness? What histories of circulation and proscription, custom and innovation, discipline and resistance press upon our present? This two-day conference is conceived as a conversation between contemporary explorations in history, political science, literary studies and visual theory, where scholars from the University of Chicago and from various institutions in India present and discuss their recent work. Papers address themes ranging from Asokan edicts and Dara Shukoh to the inhabitation of religious and gendered selfhoods, the histories of the book in India, and to contemporary events that shook the world like the Arab Spring and the Occupy movement.

NEHA WINS HERO WOMEN’S PROFESSIONAL GOLF TOUR 2013

Neha Tripathi wins second title in the Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour 2013
Chandigarh, March 15, 2013: Kolkata golfer Neha Tripathi, who has been in great form this season, won her second title of the Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour 2013 in the fifth leg at the Chandigarh Golf Club today. Neha shot three over 75 on the final day to finish with a total score of 224, three shots ahead of runners up Smriti Mehra. Overnight rain had made the playing conditions extremely challenging for the golfers, which was clearly visible in the scores of the last two rounds.

Neha, who has consistently proved herself this season, was calm and played steadily to clinch the title. She carded three birdies on the second, fourth and 13th along with six bogeys on the fifth, sixth, 12th , 14th , 15th and 18th holes.  Smriti Mehra who was leading after the first round lost her way in the second round, conceding her lead to Neha and thereafter could not stage a comeback. The birdie queen carded just a single birdie on the 10th and had five bogeys and a double bogey for a third round score of six over 78 and a total score of 227.

Local girl Preetinder Kaur finished third, with a final round score of five over 77 and total score of 234. She carded three birdies on the second, 11th, and 12th and had 6 bogeys and a double bogey. Delhi’s Vani Kapoor was fourth with a day three score of nine over 81 and total score of 236.

Ankita Tiwana finshed fifth with a total score of 241 followed Saaniya Sharma at six with a total score of 244.

Gursimar Badwal (A) with a total score of 239 was the Amateur winner and Tavleen Batra (A) finish second at 242.

Neha Tripathi – 224 (75, 74, 75)

Smriti Mehra – 227 (71, 78, 78)

Preetinder Kaur – 234 (78, 79, 77)

Vani Kapoor – 236 (78, 77, 81)

Ankita Tiwana – 241 (80, 83, 78)

Saaniya Sharma – 244 (76, 74, 94)

Standing (L-R) Dr. Robin Petersen (CEO, South African Football Development Agency and Ex-CEO, South African Football Association), Mr. Shrinivas Dempo (VP-AIFF), Mr. Kushal Das (General Secretary-AIFF), Dr. Rufino Monteiro (Chairman-GFDC), Shri. Manohar Parrikar (Honorable Chief Minister of Goa), Actor Suniel Shetty, Mr. Keshav Chandra (Secretary Sports, Govt. of Goa), Mr. Elvis Gomes (Member Secretary, GFDC) and Mr. Wim Koeverman (India National Team Coach) unveiling Goa's Draft Football policy at the Goa International Football Table (GIFT).
Goa’s first ever International Football summit – “G.I.F.T” kicks off!

The first day of the Goa International Football Table witnessed a spectacular response from the industry stalwarts

Honorable Chief Minister unveiled the Draft Goa football policy and the GFDC publication

15th March 2013, Panaji: The Goa International Football Table (G.I.F.T.) was held on Friday, 15th March 2013 at Goa Marriott Resort & Spa. The two day summit focuses on various aspects such as the infrastructure in the field of football at the grass root level, Indian Football Development, Creating a New Sport: Beach Soccer, Efficient Use of Stadium Infrastructure, Talent Development, Community Development, Marketing and Sponsorship and Upgrading our Competition.
The first half of the session kicked off with an introduction by host Sonali Chander wherein the moderator, Stanislaus D’Souza introduced the panelists – Dr. Robin Petersen, Rajeev Piramal, Jovito Lopes and Sioulas Anastasios for the session.
Mr. Petersen, CEO, South African Football Development Agency & Ex-CEO South African Football Association gave a brief introduction and background to the South African football scenario. “Football has an incredible power to unite countries,” and to achieve success in football, funds had to be created along with business, government and football partners. This success, he said, would change the nation forever.
He shared the technical master plan of 2022 of South Africa in which he said it would create a virtuous cycle of success and would unite the nation for national pride.
Owner of Pune SC, Mr. Rajeev Piramal, also the Vice Chairman and MD of Peninsula Land Ltd., in his opening statement said, “There is lot to learn from the SAFA but at the end of the day, they are our competitors.” He also stressed on the development of infrastructure justifying that infrastructure does not only mean good grounds and good facilities but also good coaches and good medical facilities.
Sioulas Anastasios, Coach of SESA Goa FC, stressed on the need for the development at the base level.
The Sports Editor of the goan daily - Herald, Mr. Jovito Lopes stated that one of the reason for failure of football grabbing most eyeballs is the large fan loyalty to the international clubs rather than Indian clubs. He also said that not only the government support, but also Private Public Partnership (PPP) would help in the development of Football in India.
Scott O’ Donell (AIFF/FIFA National Academies Technical Director/Director-Coach), in his presentation, stressed on the development of football at the grass root level. With context to this, he said that “This should have started 20 years back.” He also proposed the Grass Root development plan for football in India.
Honorable Chief Minister of Goa, Shri Manohar Parrikar in his brief address spoke about football in a nutshell. With a sporty spirit he said, “Football gets you through life besides work.”
Dr. Rufino Monteiro, Chairman, Goa Football Development Council, expressed his gratitude towards the Honorable Chief Minister for his dedication and commitment in making football the official sport of the state, not just in words but also in action. “Football is not a fashion statement but it’s about passionate dedication towards the sport,” he said. “
He further said that “Goa’s aim is to produce good players and that GFDC is working towards it. Studies done in Indian cities reveal that football now attracts three times as many viewers as cricket, more so because today’s youth want a fast, exciting game and 90 minutes of football ideally fits into their hectic lifestyle. A Nielsen survey in 2010 found that 47% of India’s over 1.2 billion population described themselves as football fans. Interestingly, football also attracts the second highest sports sponsorship in India, out-ranking tennis, badminton, boxing, wrestling and athletics where India boasts of world class athletes, some even champions. There is so much to do to develop football in India.”

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