Mukesh Kumar confident as curtains go up on PGTI season

Age is no barrier for dishing out winning golf as far as Mukesh Kumar is concerned. There is a bunch of bright young faces for the CIAL Cochin Masters, the opening round of the Professional Golf Tour of India which tees off at the CIAL Golf Club in Nedumbassery on Wednesday, but the 50-year-old is not perturbed.

Defending champion Mukesh Kumar (in red) warms up for the CIAL Cochin Masters, the opening round of the PGTI National Pro Golf Tour which opens in Nedumbassery on Wednesday.

Age is no barrier for dishing out winning golf as far as Mukesh Kumar is concerned. There is a bunch of bright young faces for the CIAL Cochin Masters, the opening round of the Professional Golf Tour of India which tees off at the CIAL Golf Club in Nedumbassery on Wednesday, but the 50-year-old is not perturbed.

The seasoned-star from Mhow, who has more than a hundred titles under his belt, is confident of retaining his title here.

“I hit around 700 balls every day, the youngsters probably do the same but they lack experience,” said Mukesh, who finished second overall in the Rolex Rankings at the end of the national pro tour last year, at Nedumbassery on Tuesday. “I’m confident of winning the title here.”

Asian Tour clash

Being an Olympic year and with the Asian Tour round in Bangladesh clashing with this event, many of the stars who graced the greens here last season such as Gaganjeet Bhullar, Rahil Gangjee and Shubhankar Sharma are missing this time despite the Rs. 60 lakh prize-money here being one of the biggest on the tour.

But youngsters like Angad Cheema, who had an Asian Tour full card last year, feel that the challenge here will be tough as ever. And the presence of names like former Indian Open champion C. Muniyappa, former Asian Tour winner Digvijay Singh, Om Prakash Chouhan and Vikrant Chopra among the 120 players here should provide some interesting fare.

Six golfers, including three from Mumbai — Shivam Ashok Tibrewal, Latif Ansari and Anwar — will turn pro at this event.

Better course

Now in its third year, the CIAL (Cochin International Airport Ltd) course is a lot better and softer now.

“It’s a huge difference from the last two years, it’s playing remarkably well this time,” said PGTI Director Uttam Singh Mundy.

With that being the situation, Cochin Airport Director A.C.K. Nair and CIAL Executive Director A.M. Shabeer are keen to see bigger events coming to their course and also to see children take up golf in a big way.