The Annual feature Match-Play event on Handicap inaugurated in the Centenary year, 1979, at the Royal Colombo Golf Club, in honour of the legendary Match-play “King” the Late Pin Fernando, concluded the Qualifying Round for both the Pin Fernando Trophy & the Pam Fernando Trophy event for Ladies over the week-end.
United Tractor & Equipment Ltd – UTE, combined with CAT SOLAR to sponsor the most popular and interesting event in the RCGC calendar, where the skills of stroke – play Golf and Match-play nerves combine for the Winner to emerge.
The qualifying round for the 2017 battle for supremacy, saw some amazing scores returned with Milinda Ratnayake carding an outstanding net 62 off a 16 Handicap to be seeded #1. Young Vihan De Alwis’s net 66 assured him of being Seeded # 2, in the automatic Match-play draw. Last years’ Winner Sudath Kumara didn’t qualify this time around with the 16 th qualifier Dayananda Ukwatte, sneaking in with a net 73, thanks to a withdrawal by Arvind Fernando, winner of the Trophy 2 years ago. The Match-play draw appears to be enthralling with some sensational matches expected. The striking feature about the 2017 Pin Fernando Trophy, is that there are 4 teenagers in the Draw, with Nirekh Tejwani the youngest at 11 years old. Vinod Weerainghe, Vihan De Alwis & Armand Flamer Caldera complete the teen- quartet. Seasoned Golfer Sanjeewa Wickramanayake, Captain RCGC Ranil Pathirana, Affli Rahim, Caesar Fernando, Wasantha De Silva, Kapila Dandeniya, Tyronne Weerakkody, Diresh Palihane, Nishan Navaratne, Shamal Perera, complete the Top 16 to qualify for the Pin Fernando Trophy knock-out match-play stage commencing Tuesday, 11 th July 2017 at the RCGC. All matches will be played in the afternoon and the Final will be worked off on Friday 14 th July 2017, followed by the traditional Prize Giving.
The ladies segment also created keen interest with Roshani Sangani getting pole position, Seeded # 1 with a nett 72, whilst the 8 th qualifier Niranjali Amarasuriya got-in on a count back and withdrawal of Jane Hong. Roshani Sangani’s daughter Iman Sangani the 2016 winner didn’t qualify this year. Shirani Buffin, Niloo Jayathilaka, Eliane Sterchi, Anouk Chitty, Ruani Desinghe and Sharon Hall complete the 8 qualifiers for the Pam Fernando Trophy 2017. The ladies Match-play starts Wednesday, with the Final also on Friday 14 th July 2017.
The Qualifying Round was followed by an entertaining evening at the Urban Greens Golf Simulator Room, South Lawn, at the Taj Samudra Hotel. Despite the light shower of rain the Awards Ceremony for the qualifying round happened swiftly, followed by soft soothing music and the luxury of playing Golf on the Simulator in the Golf Room of Urban Greens.
Chairman UTE Prasan Fernando, reminisced about his grand-father & grand-mother the Legendary Pin Fernando winning the RCGC Championship a record 19 times & Grandma Pam Fernando, the holder of the Guinness World Record of being the oldest to win a National Championship Title. Chairman UTE as Sponsor of this great match-play event, also introduced the launch of a new Caterpillar product of reliability and stability “Solar Power from CAT” – CAT SOLAR, during his brief but enlightening speech. Retired Chairman Priath Fernando, also spoke and expressed his joy that Urban Greens his new project to introduce ‘Virtual Reality Golf or Golf Simulator’ as known otherwise, to help teach and improve Golfers’ Swing & game, was happy to be associated with the Pin & Pam Fernando Trophy qualifying round Awards evening.
Awards and Certificates for Qualifying, were distributed by Chairman UTE – Prasan Fernando, Retired Chairman – Priath Fernando, CEO UTE – Riyadh Ismail, CMO UTE – Nalin Manorathne, GM Machine Sales – Janak Edirisinghe and Arvind Jayasekera, GM – Product Support.