Ahmedabad, Feb 28 (IANS) Top stars like Olympian Udayan Mane, Khalin Joshi and Yuvraj Singh Sandhu will be the top contenders as the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) announced the third edition of the Gujarat Open Golf Championship, starting here on Wednesday.
The tournament carrying a prize purse of Rs. 1 crore is scheduled to be played at the magnificent Kalhaar Blues & Greens Golf Club here from March 1-4.
The tournament comprises a field of 126 players including 123 professionals and three amateurs. The event is set to feature some other top Indian professionals such as Viraj Madappa, Om Prakash Chouhan, Kshitij Naveed Kaul, Abhijit Singh Chadha and Sachin Baisoya.
The foreign players in the field are Sri Lanka’s Mithun Perera, N. Thangaraja and K. Prabagaran, Bangladesh’s Jamal Hossain and Badal Hossain, Canada’s Sukhraj Singh Gill and Minwoo Park, Australia’s Kunal Bhasin, Nepal’s Sukra Bahadur Rai, USA’s Varun Chopra, Andorra’s Kevin Esteve Rigaill and Japan’s Makoto Iwasaki.
The local challenge will be led by Gujarat-based professionals Varun Parikh, Anshul Patel, Shravan Desai and Jay Pandya. The Gujarat-based amateurs in the field are Dhruv Suri and Swayam Ambalia. The third amateur in the field is Noida-based teenager Aarav Shah of Australia.
The PGTI staged a qualifying event for professionals ahead of the main event for the first time ever. In all, 21 professionals participated in the qualifier that took place on Tuesday at Kalhaar Blues & Greens. The top two professionals who qualified for the main draw of the event were Bikramjit Singh Sandhu (73) and Imran Ali Mollah (74). Imran Ali Mollah defeated Manav Bais (74) in a playoff for the second spot.
Uttam Singh Mundy, CEO, PGTI, said, “The Gujarat Open Golf Championship has emerged as an important stop on the PGTI schedule over the past few years. This year the event is even more special with the prize money on offer being raised to Rs. 1 crore. It’s the highest prize money for a full-field PGTI event in Gujarat. The tournament serves as an ideal platform to promote Gujarat as a golfing destination. We also thank Sports Authority of Gujarat and Kalhaar Blues & Greens for their continued support of the event.”
Devang Shah, MD, Navratna Group, said,”We welcome PGTI and all the players to the Kalhaar Blues & Greens for the Gujarat Open Golf Championship 2023. The increased prize purse this year complemented by the depth in the field makes for a fascinating week of golf. The event is a huge encouragement for the many young and budding golfers of Gujarat as they will get to witness India’s best golfers in action. With the event being streamed Live, this is a great opportunity for us to showcase and promote Kalhaar Blues & Greens among a much wider audience across the country as well as overseas.”