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Golf champion Pitamber dead

August 22, 2005 16:56 IST

The doyen of Indian golf and former captain of the national squad, Raj Kumar Pitamber passed away in Mumbai on Saturday after a brief illness, three days after completing 74 years of age.

The London-born Oxford Blue, who also captained the university team, started making his mark in the game in the 1950s by finishing runner-up in the British Boys' Open in 1953 and World Universities Championship in 1954.

Affectionately known as 'Pit' in golf circles, Pitamber, who retired as Managing Director of Mahindra and Mahindra, ruled the Indian golf scene for decades and won the All India Amateur crown twice, in 1966 and 1973.

He was captain of the Indian golf squads between 1964 and 1975 and represented the country for 17 years -- from 1958 to 1975 -- at a time when the game was largely amateur-driven.

Pitamber, who was the president of the Indian Golf Union in 1974-75, was conferred the Arjuna Award for his exploits on the greens in 1967.

He won various championships in the United Kingdom and Europe and also served for two years in the British Army, commissioned as Second Lieutenant. He joined Mahindra and Mahindra as a management trainee on his return to India in 1958 and became the company's Managing Director in 1990.

He was also president of the Bombay Chamber of Commerce and Industry in 1997-98.

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