Strong international flavour at season-ending golf meet
Kolkata, Dec20: The sixth edition of the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI)s season-ending championship, the McLeod Russel Tour meet, will have a strong international flavour this time.
The Rs. 1.5 crore event scheduled to be played from December 21 to 24, will witness established names from Australia and Japan tee it up on the turf of the Royal Calcutta Golf Club (RCGC).
Among the foreign professionals, leading the charge would be the Australian duo of Adam Blyth and Daniel Fox and Japan’s Masahiro Kawamura, all three playing as sponsor invites. The three golfers, making their debut at the RCGC, have a total of four international titles between them.
Adam Blyth, a two-time winner on the PGA Tour of Australasia, has visited India on several occasions before while playing on the Asian Tour. But this is his maiden visit to the city.
The 36-year-old Blyth played the Pro-Am event of the McLeod Russel Tour Championship on Tuesday and relished his first ever outing at the RCGC.
The six feet four inches tall golfer from Brisbane, said, “I’m really excited about competing with some of India’s top golfers this week. I had heard a lot of good things from Indian players playing on the Asian Tour about the PGTI, so I was keen to come out here and compete.
“The likes of Jeev Milkha Singh, Arjun Atwal, Anirban Lahiri and SSP Chawrasia have set the benchmark for Indian players. Now there is so much depth in talent here. Indians are winning regularly on the Asian Tour.
“The field here is quite strong with the presence of SSP Chawrasia, Ajeetesh Sandhu and Shubhankar Sharma, all international winners this year. This is not an easy event to win. You’ve got to play really well.”
Masahiro Kawamura, who won the 2013 Asia-Pacific Panasonic Open, an event co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Japan Golf Tour, will be another name to reckon with at PGTI’s showpiece event this week.
Among the other sponsor invites from overseas is Bangladesh’s Md Siddikur Rahman, a two-time winner on the Asian Tour, who is no stranger to the RCGC having honed his skills on the PGTI for several years before graduating to the international level.
The foreign invites also include Singapore’s Choo Tze-Huang who played last year’s edition of the McLeod Russel Tour Championship as well as two more Japanese players Shotaro Wada and Yuwa Kosaihira.
Meanwhile, city-based golfer Shankar Das and his team won the 1st Pro-Am on Tuesday. Udayan Mane’s team finished runners up.
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