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The 2nd Maritime Golf Challenge 2009 brings out the best from
 the Golfers in the Shipping fraternity


overall winner  Mr. Elias Abraham, the Managing Director of APL Lanka     [PVT] Ltd. (top), the 1st runner up Capt. Nihal Keppetipola, Managing Director of Sri Lanka Ports Authority (bottom right), and the  2nd runner up Mr. Tissa Wickramasinghe of  John Keells Holdings PLC (bottom left) receiving their trophies from Capt. Lester Weinman, Chairman of Sri Lanka Shipping Company

The recent inclement weather conditions did not dampen any spirits of the golfers from the shipping industry for going ahead and conducting the 2nd Maritime Golf Challenge 2009 at the Royal Colombo Golf Club course. Twice postponed due to the poor course conditions, caused by the incessant rains, the “weather-beaten” maritime and shipping community was all geared to meet the challenge. 

The second corporate golfing event of the shipping community, the Maritime Golf Challenge 2009, conducted on a Stableford Format, teed off on Wednesday the 25th of November, 2009 at the Royal Colombo Golf Club (RCGC) course. The RCGC, the second oldest golf course outside the British Isles inaugurated by the then Governor of Sri Lanka, Sir Joseph West Ridgeway in 1896, looked in splendid condition on this Wednesday morning, with the ground staff having done an excellent job of work to bring the course back to near normalcy after the heavy rains. 

The event was sponsored by Shipping Lines, Shipping Agents and Ports and Terminal Operators and a field of over twenty players from Sri Lanka , the Indian Sub Continent and the Middle East region, participated in the tournament. 

The winner was Mr.Elias Abraham, the Managing Director of APL Lanka [PVT] Ltd., who scored a dynamic 36 points followed very closely by 1st runner up Capt. Nihal Keppetipola, Managing Director of Sri Lanka Ports Authority on 35 points, 2nd runner up Mr. Tissa Wickramasinghe fo John Keells Holdings PLC on 34 points.  

The tournament attracted an ardent gathering of the shipping fraternity into Sri Lanka which has invested huge monies on impressive maritime-related infrastructure development projects. The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) played an anchor role in this tournament by acting as a co-sponsor to the event especially at a time when the country is on the verge of an economic renaissance with the dawn of peace and when the world economy has just begun to bounce back in the aftermath of the global economic downturn. The express objective of this encounter was to develop a joint effort in building greater customer loyalty and to bring more business to the Port of Colombo which is now well accepted as the regional “HUB” Port. The SLPA realizing the great opportunity of an emerging new world order characterized by a shift of development to Asia, driving the global growth was in the forefront of organizing the event together with all other stake holders in the industry.  

The tournament was well supported by the shipping industry and places at the event were very much sought after by the contenders. The predominant view of the tournament organizers was that there is no better environment to host stakeholders in this industry which has a close affinity with the game of golf than a golfing tournament itself, where four to five hours of some sunshine, fresh air and industry developments can be shared by all.  

The game culminated at the famous 19th hole. The winners, all participants, and the sponsors were felicitated at the prize distribution and dinner, hosted at the Ridgeways Restaurant at RCGC. The event being such a success, the two main industry watch dogs SLAVO and CASA have agreed to be the main organizers in the coming years, and they expect the tournament to be organized on a much bigger scale with more foreign participation. 

Playing on a Stableford scoring system, based on RCGC handicaps limited to a maximum of 24, the winners were:-

Winner      36 points / Elias Abraham  

1st  Runner Up   35Points / Nihal Kapettipola           

2nd  Runner up  34Points / Tissa Wickremasinghe
·        Overall Best Gross Score -  Winner : Saliya Senanayake
·        Straight Drive Closest to the Line 8th Fairway  - Winner : Nihal Keppetipola ·        Wooden Spoonist                     - Winner : P  A Virasinghe
·        Nearest to the Pin Hole No: 9   - Winner : Roy Anthony
·        Longest Drive  Hole No: 15      - Winner : Nimal Ranchigoda
·        Nearest to the Pin Hole No: 16 - Winner : Diresh Palihena 
·        Best Par 3 Gross Score            - Winner : Roy Anthony
·        Best Par 5 Gross Score  - Fairway wood No: 5 - Winner : Saliya Senanayake
(CRPD 26112009)

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