Indian golfing greats such as Anirban Lahiri, SSP Chawrasia, Gaganjeet Bhullar and Jyoti Randhawa will headline a star-studded line-up at the Tata Steel Tour Championship, starting here on Thursday.
The event, hosted by the Tata Steel Group and PGTI, will offer a handsome prize purse of Rs 1.5 crore and will feature a field of 125 professionals.
The tournament will be a 72-hole stroke-play championship and there will be a cut applied after 36 holes.
The Pro-Am event preceding the tournament will be played on Thursday. It will be for the first time in six years that a PGTI event here will be jointly staged at both Beldih and Golmuri golf courses.
In round one, one half of the field will play its 18 holes at Beldih, while the other half will play its 18 holes at Golmuri.
In round two, both halves of the field will switch venues (those who played at Beldih in round one, will play eighteen holes at Golmuri in round two and vice-versa).
In rounds three and four, after the cut has been applied, all players will tee off from Golmuri, playing their first nine holes there before moving to Beldih.
The tournament will feature a star-studded field including Lahiri (seven international wins), Chawrasia (six international wins), Bhullar (10 international wins), Randhawa (nine international wins), Shiv Kapur (six international wins) and Rahil Gangjee (three international wins).
The other prominent names in the field include defending champion Udayan Mane, India’s highest-ranked golfer Rashid Khan (282 in the world rankings), PGTI Order of Merit leader Karandeep Kochhar, Ajeetesh Sandhu, Khalin Joshi, Chikkarangappa and Viraj Madappa.
Former Asia No 1, PGA Tour regular Lahiri, returns to play here after nearly 13 years. The two-time winner on the European Tour, last played here during the sixth Tata Open in January 2008.
Kapur, a four-time winner on the Asian Tour, returns to play here after 16 years. He last played here at the third Tata Open in November 2004 where he finished runner-up.
The two venues, Beldih and Golmuri, are both lush green, beautiful and very well-maintained, with the charming Dalma Hills in the background.
While the 70-year-old Beldih golf course flaunts long fairways, Golmuri golf Course is a smaller, greener, boutique course disallowing golfers any room for error.
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