Chawrasia’s presence boosts Kolkata Classic

According to Indian Open champion Chawrasia, a 15-under score should be good enough to win the title in Kolkata.

Golfers S.S.P. Chawrasia and Udayan Mane and PGTI Director Uttam Mundy with the Kolkata Classic 2017 Trophy.   -  Special Arrangement

After pocketing $291,660 for his second consecutive Indian Open win, S.S.P. Chawrasia will feature in the second edition of Rs 40 lakh ($61,181.44) Kolkata Classic championship, to be held at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club (RCGC) here from Tuesday.

For the four-time European Tour champion, being a professional golfer is not just about making money. “One needs to support the Tour (Professional Golf Tour of India) and help it grow. That’s why I am playing here this week. The event will help promote golf in Kolkata,” said Chawrasia on Monday.

“When I was young, I aspired to win like the established players. Several professionals are playing golf now. When they see me in action, they may get inspired.”

The 38-year-old local golfer took a week off to celebrate his successive Indian Open triumph at the DLF Golf and Country Club, Gurgaon, with his RCGC friends. “Before playing a big tournament abroad, I play here. RCGC (course) is always good (to play) and this will be a good preparation before I play the Panasonic Open on the Japan Tour next month.”

According to Chawrasia, a 15-under score should be good enough to win the title here.

Other than Chawrasia, the presence of Asian Tour winners Rashid Khan, Mukesh Kumar and Chiragh Kumar and current PGTI Order of Merit leader Ajeetesh Sandhu, PGTI winners Udayan Mane and Honey Baisoya and PGTI regulars Mithun Perera and Anura Rohana makes the field competitive.

PGTI Director Uttam Mundy said the event, which has witnessed an increase of Rs 10 lakh in prize money, should boost golf in Kolkata. “Earlier, five-six events used to be held in Kolkata every year. We hope to revive the trend. If we get good response from sponsors, then the Kolkata Classic prize money can be enhanced further,” said Mundy.