There will be no restriction on the number of foreigners with the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) becoming an ‘Open Tour’ from 2018 onward. The PGTI had a limit of a maximum of 15 foreign players in each tournament till date but now there will be no such restriction on foreigner earning their cards through the PGTI Qualifying School. The tour also hopes to align itself with the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) system thus attracting world ranking points for all its future events.
The PGTI has announced its calendar for the first half of the 2018 season and there will be eight tournaments between the months of January and April. The front half of the year will feature three new events. The total prize purse on offer in the first half is approximately Rs. 2.8 crore, an increase of Rs. 20 lakh compared to last season.
The 2018 season will tee-off on January 24 with the inaugural Dhaka Open at the Kurmitola Golf Club in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The event worth approximately Rs 40 lakh will be tri-sanctioned by the PGTI, Asian Development Tour (ADT) and the Bangladesh Professional Golfers Association (BPGA).
Besides the Dhaka Open, there would be two new additions to the schedule including an event in Delhi NCR. The PGTI Cochin Masters presented by CIAL Golf Club (Rs. 40 lakh), Golconda Masters (Rs. 40 lakh) and Pune Open (Rs. 30 lakh) are the three established PGTI events that feature in the schedule for the first half.
The two events that return for their second editions are the Chennai Open (Rs. 30 lakh) and the Chittagong Open (Rs. 40 lakh). The USD 1.75 million Indian Open, co-sanctioned by the European Tour and Asian Tour, will be the second international event in the first half of the season.
The Indian Open, now a PGTI Order of Merit event, is slated to be held from March 8–11. With PGTI hosting eight Order of Merit events in the first half and the Indian Open also becoming an Order of Merit event, there will be a total of nine PGTI Order of Merit events in the first half of the season.
The First Stage of the 2018 PGTI Qualifying School will begin from January 8. It will feature three events of 36-holes each (Pre Qualifying I, II & III). The Final Stage of the Qualifying School, a 72-hole event, will be staged from January 17–20. The Qualifying School will be held at the Kensville Golf & Country Club, Ahmedabad.