Lahiri, Kapur to lead strong Indian field in Panasonic Open India

Leading Indian golfers Anirban Lahiri, Shiv Kapur and SSP Chawrasia will vie for top honours at the the eighth Panasonic Open India, which will tee-off at the Delhi Golf Club from Thursday.

Anirban Lahiri will be one of the players to watch out for in the tournament.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Leading Indian golfers Anirban Lahiri, Shiv Kapur and SSP Chawrasia will vie for top honours at the the eighth Panasonic Open India, which will tee-off at the Delhi Golf Club from Thursday.

The highly-rated event will also see a strong international field comprising players from 17 other countries.

Sanctioned by the Asian Tour and the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI), the Panasonic Open India will once again offer a prize purse of $ 400,000 when it returns to its regular venue.

“The Asian Tour is pleased to work alongside Panasonic, PGTI and the Delhi Golf Club once again to ensure another successful week of golf at the Panasonic Open India,” said Cho Minn Thant, Asian Tour Chief Operating Officer.

Kapur, who is the defending champion, topped the inaugural Panasonic Swing ranking with total points of 2922.90 last year, thanks largely to his victory at the Panasonic Open India, which was his first Asian Tour victory on home soil and second win in 2017.

The Panasonic Swing ranking, initiated by the Asian Tour and the Panasonic Corporation to reinforce Panasonic’s support for professional golf across the region, is based on an aggregate point ranking earned by players at selected tournaments in Asia.

“Winning at home, at your home course is very very special. To win the Panasonic Open on home soil, with a two-month-old daughter was a dream come true for me,” Kapur said.

The 36-year-old Indian went on to win his fourth Asian Tour title at the Royal Cup in Thailand one month later and became the first and only player to win three times on the region’s premier Tour last season.

Kapur will spearhead the elite field alongside compatriots Chiragh Kumar and Viraj Madappa, who became the youngest Indian winner on the Asian Tour following his breakthrough in August, as well as two-time Asian Tour winners Jazz Janewattananond and Panuphol Pittayarat of Thailand.

Asked if the poor air-quality of the capital would be a concern, Delhi resident Kapur said: “Yes the air quality is a concern for all of us as citizens but not so much as golfers. Personally I’d rather play in the smog than the cold, wet and windy weather.”

Madappa added: “I do have trouble taking deep breaths sometimes here but I have played in Delhi before so it should not be a problem.”