Focus on Indian golfers while the new Asian Tour event takes place at home

NEW DELHI: Indian golfers, included Rashid Khan & Chiragh Kumar , will have another opportunity to show their skills at home with celebrities Classic Golf & Country Club in Gurugram presenting a new Asian tour Event next week.

The International Classic Golf Championship Country Club will begin on September 12 with a prize pool of $ 300,000.

Since 2011, Asian tour events in India have produced at least two homegrown winners each year, barring once in 2013, when there was just one winner.

But in 2013, India also had a runner-up in another event & three top-5 finishers in the third event.

Indian golfers, who have dominated home events, will be strong favourites again with a band of very talented & young players.

Leading the pack will be two stars, Viraj Madappa & Khalin Joshi, who broke through on the region's premier Tour last season with a win each in Bengaluru & Delhi.

The field will also include another hugely talented Ajeetesh Sandhu, who won his first Asian tour event in Taiwan in 2017.

S Chikkarangappa, who is considered one of the finest young talents in the country & has been a topper on the domestic pro circuit, will be looking to etch his name on the newly instituted Trophy.

He has won twice on the Asian Development Tour & has also represented India at the World Cup, but is still in search of his first Asian tour title.

"I have come close many times, but not quite closed the deal. But now with the Classic Golf & Country International, I am hoping the home atmosphere will help me get past the line," said Chikka.

A new group of rookie professionals like Aadil Bedi will also look for an innovative victory.

The field will also feature players from South Africa, Australia, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Taiwan & Argentina, making it a truly global tournament with representation from more than 20 countries.

The tournament also features recent winners such as Miguel Carballo of Argentina, who is fresh from his win at Indonesia Open, Taehee Lee (Korea) & Malcolm Kokocinski (Sweden).

The entry list includes former Asia No. 1 Jyoti Randhawa & multiple Asian tour winner Mardan Mamat.

The field also includes two amateurs -- Harshjeet Sethie & Kartik Sharma, who will be representing India at the prestigious Nomura Cup later as well as Saurav Rathi who will be turning professional in this event.

A full field of 156 players will tee up & as usual Indians will hold centre stage at a course which is very popular with the stars. The course has been a host to numerous Asian tour events & also premier PGTI events besides top amateur & junior events.