Updated: September 1, 2021 8:45:26 pm
Indian golfers resume action after a Covid-19 break and in a big way. The Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) has unveiled 10 events for the rest of the year, starting with Golconda Masters in Hyderabad from Thursday, September 2. The year will conclude with Tata Steel Tour Championship in Jamshedpur on December 16 with a total purse offering a whopping Rs 6.6 crore.
The golfers will also gain Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points and they can brighten their chances to play in the prestigious Asian Tour.
At the Hyderabad season opener, defending champion and Tokyo Olympian Udayan Mane will be eyeing his third title. The first time he won was in 2018.
“My work has begun on my swing, my fitness and mental health. I work when I play in the tournaments,” Udayan told indianexpress.com. Udayan finished 56th among 60 competitors while his compatriot Anirbhan Lahiri was 42nd at the recently concluded Olympics.
“I have changed the way I train so far. I’m using my brain now (chuckles), not just blindly hitting the ball and trying to change. I understand a lot more about myself and look forward to a good outing,” said the 30-year-old, who has won 11 titles so far.
On his fitness level, Udayan said, “I just started working on it, more than I used to do. I think the future looks nice.”
Other top Indian professionals featuring in the Hyderabad tournament are Karandeep Kochhar, Rashid Khan, Khalin Joshi, Viraj Madappa, Aman Raj and former champions Chikkarangappa S (2019) and Harendra Gupta (2015).
PGTI CEO Uttam Singh Mundy announced their association with ‘American Express’ and ‘Amrutanjan Health Care Limited’ as tour partners. Urging corporates to join the bandwagon, cricket legend Kapil Dev, who was inducted to PGTI as a board member, recalled the fabulous performance of Aditi Ashok at the Tokyo Olympics. “If we come forward and support our golf players, they can easily become world champions and medal winners.”
Golconda Masters is the lone event to be held in the south. J&K Open at Royal Springs Golf Course in Srinagar and the TATA Steel PGTI Players Championship at the Delhi Golf Club are returning to competition mode after a gap of seven years. The Delhi event is not co-sanctioned by Asian Tour but PGTI will be staging an event here for the first time after 2014.
The oldest among the 10 events is IndianOil Servo Masters Golf, and its 21st edition will be held at the Digboi Golf Links in Digboi, Assam. It offers a purse of Rs 60 lakh.
Jeev Milkha Singh Invitational in Chandigarh and the season-ending Tata Steel Tour Championship in Jamshedpur are the richest tournaments, offering Rs 1.5 crore each.
Golconda Masters Telangana Open 2021 at Hyderabad Golf Club, Hyderabad from Sep 2-5 (Rs 40 lakh)
TATA Steel PGTI Players Championship at Panchkula Golf Club, Panchkula from Sep 8-11 (Rs 50 lakh)
J & K Open 2021 at Royal Springs Golf Course, Srinagar from Sep 15-18 (Rs 40 lakh)
TATA Steel PGTI Players Championship at Delhi Golf Club, Delhi from October 5 to 8 (Rs 50 lakh)
Jaipur Open at Rambagh Golf Club, Jaipur from Oct 12-15 (Rs 40 lakh)
IndianOil Servo Masters at Digboi Golf Links, Digboi from Oct 25- 31 (Rs 60 lakh)
Jeev Milkha Singh Invitational at Chandigarh Golf Club, Chandigarh from November 11-14 (Rs 1.5 crore)
ICC-RCGC Open Golf Championship at Royal Calcutta Golf Club, Kolkata from Nov 25-28 (Rs 40 lakh)
Pune Open Golf Championship at Poona Club Golf Course, Pune from December 1-4 (Rs 40 lakh)
Tata Steel Tour Championship at Golmuri & Beldih Golf Clubs, Jamshedpur from Dec 16-19 (Rs 1.5 crore)