India's biggest prize money PGTI golf begins
India's top 60 golfers have assembled here to vie for country's highest ever prize money 1.25 crore at the concluding of the PGTI Golf Championship beginning at Royal Calcutta Golf Club course from Wednesday.
The four-day event has special significance for the participating players as they will vie for prestigious Rolex Rankings 2012 (top honours) as the tournament will be a 72-hole stroke-play championship and there will be no cut applied after 36 holes.
Current PGTI leaders Rashid Khan, Shamim Khan (both Delhi), Harinder Gupta ( Chandigarh), Mukesh Kumar (Mowh) and Sri Lankan Mithun Periera, who are now occupying the first five positions at the end of the 19 legs, are for winners for Rolex Rankings.
Jyoti Randhawa, S S P Chowrasia, Anirban Lahiri, Rahil Gangji and Sujan Singh will also be in the fight for the highest cash prize as they are invited by the title sponsor McLeod Russel, who promised increasing prize money upto 1.5 Crore in 2014.
Besides Mithun from Sri Lakna, other foreign entries here include Anura Rohana from the Island nation and Md. Zamal Hossain Mollah from Bangladesh.
Former Asiad gold medalist "Bunny" Lakhsman Singh, a veteran of RCGC informed that 7014-yard course of the Royal would favour the long hitters while the inaccurate shots would get punished severely as a large number of water hazards makes thus course a real challenge to master.
Mr Aditya Khaitan, Managing Director of McLeod Russel, the sponsor of this meet speaking on the occasion said the company would sponsor this event for the next two years with increased prize money.
While 2013 meet will offer rupees 1.35 crores, the 2014 tourney will have Rs 1.50 crores as its prize money.
Giving their reactions on this meet three times India Open champion Jyoti Randdhawa said he is very happy to take part in this meet this time as the course here offers real challenge to a golfer while Anirban Lahiri, an Asian Tour regular commented, "I always like to play in Royal.' Two-time winner of the European tour S S P Chowrasia who grew up at Royal only said he was very exited to be able to play here as it was at the RCGC where he started his golf.
Speaking on the occasion RCGC Committee member Gaurav Ghosh informed that India Open Golf Championship, the biggest golf event in the country is likely to be back at the Royal again in 2014 after Delhi host the same during its golden jubilee year in 2013.