Top golfers vie for honours at Golconda Masters

Former champion Harendra Gupta along with other top pros from India who will be in action include Asian Tour regulars Khalij Joshi, Chikkarangappa, Rahil Gangjee, Virat Madappa and Himmat Rai.

S. Chikkarangappa will be in action at the Golconda Masters in Hyderabad.   -  G.P. Sampath Kumar

Some of the familiar names in Indian golf including 2017 PGTI Order of Merit champion Shamim Khan, former champion Harendra Gupta will vie for top honours along with others in the fourth edition of the Golconda Masters golf championship at the Hyderabad Golf Club course in the backdrop of the historic Golconda Fort here from February 22 to 25, according to Uttam Singh Mundy, CEO of PGTI.

Some of the other top pros from India who will be in action include Asian Tour regulars Khalij Joshi, S. Chikkarangappa, Rahil Gangjee, Virat Madappa, Himmat Rai.

Defending champion Ajeetesh Sandhu will not be here this time around as he is competing in the Japan Open right now.

Mundy informed media here that the Golconda Masters event presented by Telangana Tourism offers a prize money of Rs. 30 lakhs in all with the winner getting Rs. 4.5 lakhs, the runner-up Rs. 3 lakhs and the third-placed about Rs. 1.80 lakhs.

“We take pride in informing that this Hyderabad edition has become an integral part of the PGTI calendar and in the last three editions, we are glad to see those who have done well here went on to make it big in the Asian circuit. So, this has become as some sort of a curtain-raiser ahead of the demanding schedule for the Indian golfers,” Mundy explained.

“We are also thankful to Mrs. Rashmi Sharma, Secretary, Tourism, Government of India, for sanctioning Rs. 25 lakhs for this tournament as part of their tourism promotion activity and the best part is that it will be an annual feature too,” he said.

The PGTI official also said that they had opened up the PGTI Tour to foreigners and as such there were no restrictions on the number of foreign players. “For instance, in the Golconda Masters, we have golfers from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, South Africa and even Australia too,” he added.

Mundy revealed that the PGTI had applied for world rankings to their tour events and hoped to get a positive review from the world governing body of golf by April this year. “Once that happens, we are sure golf will take a new direction in India,” he said.

HGA president J. Vikramdev Rao and Capt. Dayakar Reddy thanked the State Government in making the event a huge success and the Golconda Masters emerging as the marquee event in Indian calendar of golfing events.