Chikkarangappa, Shubhankar to face off at the PGTI Players’ ch’ship

The presence of the duo, alongside Udayan Mane (the 2015 PGTI Emerging Player) and Khalin Joshi should make for an engrossing four days. Total prize money of Rs.30 lakh is on offer.

S. Chikkarangappa (L) and Shubhankar Sharma (R) will crossswords again at the PGTI Players' Championship at the Eagleton GolfResort from Tuesday.   -  Special Arrangement

S. Chikkarangappa and Shubhankar Sharma will square off again when the PGTI Players' Championship, the season's second event, gets underway at the Eagleton Golf Resort here from Tuesday.

The pair produced a memorable, thrilling finish at the same venue in October. Ever since, their paths have crossed often, with exciting results. Both earned their Asian Tour cards at the Q School in Thailand in January, before competing in last week's Bashundhara Bangladesh Open. Shubhankar finished third there and Chikkarangappa fourth -- a best-ever Asian Tour finish for both.

“The healthy competition between Shubhankar and me at the moment is good for both of us,” Chikkarangappa said. “We are both pushing each other to do better and taking our games to a higher level.”

The 22-year-old added: “We’ve never really played at Eagleton at this time of the year. The wind will play an even greater role in the current weather conditions. The greens are soft and nice. If you putt well you can go really deep.”

Shubhankar felt Chikkarangappa would be the favourite. “Chikka will once again be the guy to beat here at Eagleton,” the 19-year-old from Gurgaon said. “He’s always in contention on his home ground. The toughest stretch of the course this week is from the second to the sixth. It’s a stretch were bad shots can exact a heavy price. Even if you are one or two under for those holes, it’s a good start.”

The presence of the duo, alongside Udayan Mane (the 2015 PGTI Emerging Player) and Khalin Joshi -- none of whom featured in the season-opener in Kochi last week -- should make for an engrossing four days. It was Feroz Ali Mollah who won the CIAL Cochin Masters by a single shot, from Vikrant Chopra and M. Dharma. Mollah, who broke a four-year trophy drought, will be a contender again, as will the likes of Mukesh Kumar and Shankar Das. Total prize money of Rs.30 lakh is on offer.