Starry field for Karnataka golf festival

Bangalore, Sep 11 : Over 450 golfers led by S. Chikkarangappa and Khalin Joshi will take part in the fifth Toyota Karnataka Golf Festival at the Karnataka Golf Association here Sep 12-15.

The festival will also see top amateurs like junior champion Syed Saqib Ahmed and Anisha Padukone besides former cricketers Gundappa Vishwanath, Erapalli Prasanna and Syed Kirmani, former India hockey goalkeeper Ashish Ballal and Davis Cupper Rohan Bopanna in action.

The golfers will compete in five different categories (0-5, 6-10, 11-15, 16-20, 21-24 handicap) for berths in the Indian team at the World Golfers' Championships (WGC) to be held at Durban, South Africa, from Oct 26 to Nov 3.

Looking forward to the fest, Chikka said: "It will be my third year at this festival and I'm really happy to be invited by Toyota. It's an exciting concept where both a scratch handicap youngster, my age or a 40 or 50 year old club-level player can get a chance to play at an international tournament like WGC as part of a team. It's also good to see the Karnataka state tourism department getting involved in a tournament like this."

Extending a challenge to all the participants will be Chandigarh-based pro golfer and Arjuna Awardee Harmeet Kahlon, who will be playing at Hole No.1 on Day 3 of the festival with each group in the 'Beat the Pro Camry Hybrid Straightest Drive Challenge' which is an added attraction.

Over the last five years, there have been some noteworthy performances including Sumit Rathore, former KGA captain who won his handicap category in 2009 at the WGC in Spain, and Utpal Dutt in 2010 when he finished second in his category.

With support from the state tourism department, the festival showcases Karnataka as a premier destination to promote golf tourism in the state.

--IANS (Posted on 11-09-2013)

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