Indian golf's ‘Big Three’ for PGTI year-end meet

The strongest ever field for the McLeod Russel Tour Championship, starting here on Thursday, promises some exciting action in the year-ending event, offering the highest prize money of Rs. 1.5 crore on the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI).

Jyoti Randhawa (right) and Shiv Kapur will be part of the star-studded meet.   -  Rajeev Bhatt

Jeev Milkha Singh is stepping on the Royal Calcutta Golf Club (RCGC) after 19 years. Shiv Kapur is returning after 12 years.

The strongest ever field for the McLeod Russel Tour Championship, starting here on Thursday, promises some exciting action in the year-ending event, offering the highest prize money of Rs. 1.5 crore on the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI).

Indian golf’s ‘Big Three’, Jeev, Jyoti Randhawa and Arjun Atwal, teeing off together as the last group on day one will be the icing on the cake even though one may miss the presence of multiple Asian and European Tour winner Anirban Lahiri.

The famed trio, who have 32 international titles between them and have won on all important international tours apart from appearing in 24 Majors, loved the moment.

“It’s fantastic. The last time we played together was at the invitational event hosted by me in Noida four years back. It’ll be good fun playing with each other. We have always pushed each other for getting the best out of us,” said 45-year-old Jeev, who is the most successful Indian golfer with 13 international wins across three tours.

Randhawa was excited too. “We are good friends off the course and there will be some chatter when we play together. However, it will also be serious business on the course.”

Atwal, a local golfer who now lives in the USA, also looked forward to the opportunity. “We began our professional careers around the same time over two decades back. I am looking forward to playing with Jeev and Jyoti again as some old memories will be refreshed.”

Another local pro and current Indian Open and Manila Masters winner S.S.P. Chawrasia will be part of the other elite group, including Indonesia Open champion Gaganjeet Bhullar and former Asian Tour winner Shiv Kapur.

“The course matches international standards. It’s not easy to find the greens if you land in the rough. Reading the greens will also be a challenge,” noted Kapur.

Playing without any cut, the field of 64 — also having several prominent golfers including Panasonic Open winner Mukesh Kumar, former Asian Tour winner Rashid Khan, defending champion S. Chikkarangappa and Order of Merit leader Shubhankar Sharma — should provide some fine entertainment ahead of the New Year.