High on confidence after his second consecutive Indian Open title, SSP Chawrasia will be the star attraction along side Asian Tour regulars Rashid Khan S Chikkarangappa and Mukesh Kumar at the Kolkata Classic Golf Championship starting, here on Tuesday.
The Kolkata Classic, the fourth event of the Professional Golf Tour of India's (PGTI) 2017 season, is set to return for its second edition at the historic Royal Calcutta Golf Club (RCGC) and carries a prize purse of Rs 40 lakh.
The tournament will be played from March 21 to 24 with the Pro-Am event scheduled for March 25.
The tournament brings together some of India's leading professionals such as reigning Indian Open champion and local lad Chawrasia, Rashid (2016 PGTI Order of Merit champion), Chikkarangappa, Mukesh, Chiragh Kumar, as well as winners from the current PGTI season Ajeetesh Sandhu (2017 PGTI Order of Merit leader), Udayan Mane and Honey Baisoya.
The foreign challenge will be led by the Sri Lankan trio of Mithun Perera, Anura Rohana and N Thangaraja as well as Australian Kunal Bhasin. Besides Chawrasia, the field also features other prominent names from Kolkata such as Shankar Das (2014 PGTI Order of Merit champion), former Indian Open champion Feroz Ali Mollah, Divyanshu Bajaj and rookie Viraj Madappa.
This is a 72-hole stroke-play tournament featuring a field of 126 professionals. The cut will be applied after the first 36 holes. The top 50 players and ties will make the halfway cut and continue to play for another 36 holes.
Olympian Chawrasia returns to his home course RCGC fresh from a remarkable second straight Indian Open triumph in Gurgaon two weeks back. The local favourite, who now has four European Tour titles to his credit, said, "I've had a great start to the season with victory at the Indian Open. It was a very special week for me as I won the coveted title for the second year running. I'm now delighted to be playing at my home course once again.
"I took a break from golf last week and didn't practice at all.
"I'm excited about playing the Kolkata Classic. The tournament will go a long way in further promoting the sport in Kolkata. The field is quite strong this year with the likes of Rashid, Chikka and Chiragh participating. All of them have done well on the Asian Tour in the recent past."