Golf Open: Bengaluru Open tees off Wednesday

The event, sponsored by Karnataka Tourism, offers a total prize money of ₹1 crore. The winner will receive ₹15 lakh.

Seasoned pro Jyoti Randhawa (far left) enters the tournament in fine form, having placed fifth in the recent Manila Masters on the Asian Tour. Randhawa even held the lead going into the final round, before he slipped up.   -  Sudhakara Jain

The Bengaluru Open, the newest addition to the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) calendar, tees off at KGA course here on Wednesday. The event, sponsored by Karnataka Tourism, offers a total prize money of ₹1 crore. The winner will receive ₹15 lakh.

Jyoti Randhawa, Chikkarangappa, Khalin Joshi, Udayan Mane and Shamim Khan are some the big names in the 126-player field. Seasoned pro Randhawa enters the tournament in fine form, having placed fifth in the recent Manila Masters on the Asian Tour. Randhawa even held the lead going into the final round, before he slipped up.

“I was affected a little bit by nerves in the final round at Manila. But I enjoyed the competition, and at least I got into contention to win. If you keep knocking on the doors, it will open soon. That's what I want to do - stay in contention, and then see what happens," Randhawa said on Tuesday.

The Bengaluru duo of Khalin and Chikkarangappa also featured at Manila, but finished well behind Randhawa. While Khalin returned a steady nine-under overall card to place 29th, Chikkarangappa missed the cut. Khalin, who took the runner-up spot in the TAKE Solutions Masters held on this course a few months ago, stated, “We can expect a low-scoring week. The roughs are not very think, so the conditions are much easier than what it was during the TAKE Solutions Masters. The greens are rolling much better too.”

PGTI Order of Merit leader Shamim and second-placed Mane will seek to spring a surprise. The tournament was launched at a function here on Tuesday, in the presence of Priyank Kharge (State Minister of IT, BT, Science & Technology, Tourism), Sandeep Madhavan (KGA Secretary) and other officials.

“The tournament is part of our long-term objective to promote golf tourism in Karnataka, and further elevate the state’s reputation as an attractive golfing destination. The event also serves as an excellent platform to showcase KGA, one of India’s top golf venues,” a pleased Kharge said.