Focus on Indian golfers as new Asian Tour event tees off at home

Asian Tour makes an unscheduled stop at Gurugram when the $300,000 Classic Golf & Country Club International Championship debuts on September 12.

All eyes will be on Rashid Khan. (File Photo)   -  GETTY IMAGES

Asian Tour makes an unscheduled stop at Gurugram when the $300,000 Classic Golf & Country Club International Championship debuts on September 12.

With the originally scheduled Take Solutions’ event moved to early next year, the available slot was grabbed by the Classic Golf & Country Club (CG&CC). As a result, one of the oldest golf facilities in the National Capital Region will host two dollar-events – the other one being the $400,000 Panasonic Open – in the same season.

The Jack Nicklaus Signature course, where the last Asian Tour event was the 2009 SAIL Open, will witness a full field of 156 players from 24 countries. The winner's share is $54,000. Even the 72nd-placed golfer will receive $600.

The Indian challenge will come mainly from a mix of youth and experience. Though Jyoti Randhawa, Rashid Khan and Chiragh Kumar are part of the field, Bangalore’s trio of S. Chikkarangappa, Viraj Madappa and Khalin Joshi will be watched with added interest.

Ajeetesh Sandhu, rookie-pro Aadil Bedi, amateurs Harshjeet Sethi, Kartik Sharma along with Saurav Rathi, who turns pro with this event, add variety to the Indian challenge.

Among the overseas contenders, the recent winner of the Indonesia Open Miguel Carballo of Argentina, Taehee Lee (Korea) and Malcolm Kokocinski (Sweden) along with several Thai professionals will seek to deny another home-grown challenger from adding to the list of Indian winners.