TAKE Open: Chikkarangappa starts as favourite

Khalin Joshi, Rashid Khan, Shubhankar Sharma, Rahil Gangjee, Ajeetesh Sandhu and Jyoti Randhawa are some of the other big names in the fray at the TAKE Open.

CHIKKARANGAPPA

Chikkarangappa, who has gained his card for the 2017 Asian Tour, described the KGA course as his “second home”.   -  G. P. Sampath Kumar

S. Chikkarangappa, who finished tied-third in the recent Venetian Macau Open, will start the TAKE Open golf championship as favourite.

The new PGTI event, which offers a total prize money purse of INR 1 crore, tees off at Karnataka Golf Association (KGA) here on Wednesday.

Khalin Joshi, Rashid Khan, Shubhankar Sharma, Rahil Gangjee, Ajeetesh Sandhu and Jyoti Randhawa are some of the other big names in the fray.

Mukesh Kumar, who won the Express Exclusive-Chennai Open golf championship a few days ago, is another serious contender.

Anirban Lahiri, S.S.P. Chawrasia and Gaganjeet Bhullar will miss this event as they are at Kuala Lumpur to compete in the CIMB Classic (co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and the PGA Tour).

Chikkarangappa, who has gained his card for the 2017 Asian Tour, described the KGA course as his “second home”. “I have great memories of KGA, having won here in my junior and amateur days. I also won the team and individual events in the Louis Philippe Cup held here earlier this year,” he said on Tuesday.

Khalin views the tournament as an opportunity to get a title in the bag. The Bengaluru golfer finished tied-15th in the Shinhan Donghae Open (in South Korea) last month, before a disappointing four-over third round relegated him to 50th-place at Macau.

"These results do not accurately reflect the way I have played. My game is solid, but I have not been consistent,” he said.

For Shubhankar, a good performance here could take him closer to the top of the pile on the PGTI Order of Merit list. The 20-year-old currently lies second, behind Ajeetesh Sandhu.

"I don't want to focus on the Order of Merit list. My aim is to record good scores in each of the four rounds," the Delhi pro stated.