Munda tees off in style

Ranchi, Jan. 12: Arjun Munda donned his golf cap today to compete in a tournament in the capital, keeping his chin up to shrug off the political setback caused by the fall of his coalition government earlier this week.

Free from official work and unencumbered with walking a tightrope to satisfy allies, the caretaker chief minister was in high spirits as he turned up early at the golf course in Dipatoli for the EMTA Cup Green City Golf Tournament.

Munda teed off with acquaintances and professional golfers from Jamshedpur Ranaveer Sinha, Sanjeev Paul and Ravi Sharma.

Sporting an orange Cherv� (Italian golf accessories brand) pullover and khaki trousers, Munda could have passed for any of the professional golfers taking part in the tourney organised by Ranchi Gymkhana Club and Cockerel Ecological Park and Training Area.

Munda joked with his friends and said he now had ample time to devote to the golf.

He told The Telegraph: "A walk around the greens is a good exercise and there is plenty of fresh air. I have not been able to come here more than thrice in the past seven months. Today, I am a lot at ease and hope to have a good game," he quipped.

Though Munda's swings were not as accurate as he would have liked, his putts and strokes earned him applause from the others considering that he has not been able to practise like the professionals.

"He is a good golfer and has a knack for the sport. Even though he is not in touch, he plays very well and has shaped up well as a golfer," said Sharma, a businessman and more than an amateur golfer.

State agriculture secretary Arun Kumar Singh was also in the golf course hitting across the 18 holes. A seasoned golfer, Singh said he visits Dipatoli regularly for an early morning swing. "There is lot of work pressure, but cutting out a few hours of sleep in the morning for golf charges me up to get going for the rest of the day. The game is very refreshing and one learns to play it better every day," Singh added.

As many as 165 golfers from Jamshedpur, Bhubaneswar, Calcutta, Paradip, Ramgarh, Sambalpur, Patna, Mathura and Varanasi are playing in the tournament, said Green City Golf advisor Sunil Verma.

An experienced hand himself, Verma said the love for golf was growing every year with new participants eager to test their skills here.

The prize distribution ceremony will be organised at Gymkhana Club tomorrow after the results are compiled.

"It takes time to calculate the points of each individual to decide who the winner is. No one will know for sure who will win till it is announced because all details are recorded in a card which is deposited with the organisers after the game," Verma said.

Amateur golfer Munda may not be vying for top honours, but he is sure to rest assured that his strokes won't earn him a coalition bogey.

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