SSP Chawrasia

Kolkata, March 20 (IANS) Still basking in the glory of winning his second consecutive Indian Open title, S.S.P. Chawrasia will be the star attraction once again in the Kolkata Classic starting at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club here on Tuesday.

Chawrasia also played in the Kolkata Classic last year, finishing tied 29th. Gurgugram’s Shubhankar Sharma is the defending champion but is not taking part in the competition this year.

It will be the fourth tournament in this year’s calendar of the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI). The Kolkata Classic meet, which was also held last year, will be played on the stroke-play format. The prize money for the four-day meet which is concluding on Friday is Rs 40 lakh.

Apart from Chawrasia, the others competing in the 72-hole stroke-play meet featuring a field of 126 players include last year’s PGTI Order of Merit winner Rashid Khan, Shankar Das, current PGTI Order of Merit leader Ajeetesh Sandhu, S. Chikkarangappa, Mukesh Kumar, Chiragh Kumar, Udayan Mane and Honey Baisoya.

Among the foreign spread, the Sri Lankan trio of Mithun Perera, N. Thangaraja and Anura Rohana are the most prominent ones.

“I am excited about playing the Kolkata Classic. The tournament will go a long way in further promoting the sport in Kolkata,” Chawrasia told reporters on the eve of the meet.

“I have had a great start to the season with victory at the Indian Open. It was a very special week for me.”

Asked to predict the winning score and the how this meet will help him in his future international ventures, Chawrasia, who bagged his fourth European Tour title with the Indian Open title said: “The winning score will be 15-under I presume. The course looks good. I get good greens to play on here and that helps me prepare for other tournaments.”

    The IANS was founded by Indian American publisher Gopal Raju as the India Abroad News Service. It was later renamed the Indo-Asian News Service.

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