PGTI Masters: Feroz Ali ready to give youngsters a fight

The PGTI Cochin Masters, the sixth round of the National pro tour, begins at Nedumbassery on Wednesday and defending champion Feroz is keen to convey the message that age has not caught up with him.

Defending champion Feroz Ali Mollah (left) and Rahil Gangjee expect the PGTI Cochin Masters National pro tour golf, which begins in Nedumbassery to be a close affair.   -  Special Arrangement

He is one of the senior-most golfers on the Indian pro circuit but Feroz Ali Mollah has been frequently trying to deceive his mind these days.

“I’m 47 but I think I’m a 22-year-old, I tell my mind so,” said the former Indian Open winner from Kolkata at the CIAL Golf Club on Tuesday.

The PGTI Cochin Masters, the sixth round of the National pro tour, begins at Nedumbassery on Wednesday and defending champion Feroz is keen to convey the message that age has not caught up with him.

“All the youngsters hit very long these days but I’m ready, I want to play well,” said Feroz whose triumph here last year ended his five-year drought on the PGTI tour. “I will fight it out.”

PLAYING BETTER

The Cochin Airport course, which is now hosting the country’s best golfers for the fourth straight year, wears a lovely green look.

“It’s playing than previous years, the greens are more lush, the fairways too and that’s why it’s playing a little longer,” said Rahil Gangjee, a former Asian Tour winner and another seasoned pro here.

Rahil had a bit of a shaky start this season but he is trying to gain inspiration from last year’s merry run. “My last season was the best ever but this year, my season has not started out well,” said the 38-year-old.

“So I went back to my coach and we did a little bit of stuff. I’ve been working on my shot game and this week is a good time to test whatever I have picked up.”

The Cochin Masters, which has a total prize fund of Rs. 40 lakh, has attracted 126 golfers, including a few from Australia and Sri Lanka.

And among the leading contenders are former champion Mukesh Kumar, Shamim Khan who leads the earnings list this season, Himmat Singh, Khalin Joshi and Honey Baisoya. There is some local flavour with names like K. Madesh, M. Anand and V. S. Vivek.

“We want to attract the local talent in a big way, we are ready to offer free coaching for school children here,” said A.M. Shabeer, the Executive Director of CIAL, during the event’s launch on Tuesday.