Khalin, Kapur, Bhullar look at Panasonic Open with different aims and ambitions
The last four winners including defending champion Khalin Joshi are in the field of 126 players at the Panasonic Open India, beginning here on Thursday. The tournament, which ventures out of the Delhi Golf Club for the first time, carries a purse of USD 400,000 and provides a great platform for home stars to make a breakthrough at the Asian Tour level.
Six of the eight past champions had Panasonic Open India as their maiden wins, the only exception being SSP Chawrasia in 2014 and Shiv Kapur in 2017. The six players who made the event their first wins include Anirban Lahiri (2011); Digvijay Singh (2012); Wade Ormsby (2013), also the only non-Indian to have won the event; Chiragh Kumar (2015); Mukesh Kumar (2016) and Khalin Joshi (2018).
Interestingly no player has won the tournament more than once, so as many as five players in this field will be looking at becoming the first repeat winner. One of the highlights of the event will be the coming together of the ‘Big Three’ of Indian golf – Jeev Milkha Singh, Arjun Atwal and Jyoti Randhawa, who between the three of them have done great service to the sport in the country and the region. Randhawa, incidentally, will play his 300th Asian Tour event this week.
Another one looking for a landmark is Gaganjeet Bhullar, already the highest winner of Asian Tour titles at nine. He will attempt to become the first Indian to get into double digits. When asked about him still looking for his first win at home, he remarked with a smile, “Thanks for reminding me of that. I've never won so far in India and last year was really good when I got my first European Tour win in Fiji."
Shiv Kapur, who won three events in 2017, Panasonic Open India being one of them, returned to form last week in Thailand, where he lost in a play-off. Viraj Madappa, who broke through last year on Asian Tour and Ajeetesh Sandhu, who won in Taiwan in 2017 and has had a decent season, will also be among the players looking to add to their successes.
Youngsters like S Chikkarangappa, Aadil Bedi, Kshitij Naveed Kaul, Priyansh Singh and Abhijit Chadha among others are all searching for their maiden win on Asian Tour and this could be their week. Bangladeshi Siddikur Rahman, who has finished runner-up on three occasions at the Panasonic Open India, remains ever hopeful of making it count at the Classic Golf and Country Club this week.
His last Asian Tour win came in India at the Hero Indian Open in 2013, though he won an Asian Development Tour event in Dhaka last year. Argentina’s Miguel Carballo will be seeking his second win of the season following his breakthrough in Indonesia in September. He believes his growing confidence has given him the belief that he can tackle the challenging demands of the new host venue.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)