Rookies Kshitij, Priyanshu and Yuvraj promising prospects at inaugural ICC RCGC Open Golf Championship; Trio to make first appearance at RCGC since turning pro
Rookies Kshitij Naveed Kaul, Priyanshu Singh and Yuvraj Singh Sandhu will be promising prospects at the inaugural ICC RCGC Open Golf Championship being played at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club (RCGC) from December 12 – 15, 2019.
The young trio will be making their first appearance at the historic RCGC since turning professional.
Delhi-based Kshitij Naveed Kaul is the highest-ranked player at the Rs. 40 lakh event as he is currently placed fourth in the 2019 TATA Steel PGTI Order of Merit. The 19-year-old Kaul, who became the third-youngest winner on the PGTI after Shubhankar Sharma and Karandeep Kochhar earlier this year, is raring to have a go at one of his favoured venues.
Kaul said, “The RCGC is a great course and I’ve always enjoyed playing here. I’ve played a lot here as a junior. I won here a few times as a junior so I know the course well. This time it’s playing just amazing. One needs good ball-striking to score low here.
“It’s nice to be back in Kolkata as I like the food here especially the fish. I would like to thank ICC and RCGC for partnering with the PGTI in helping bring a tournament back to RCGC after two years
As for his targets for the remaining three events of the season, Kshitij added, “I never set targets, or limits as I see them. Instead, I just focus on hitting each shot as well as I can.”
The 23-year-old Priyanshu Singh, another rookie who has won on the PGTI this year, made his first ever trip to the RCGC on Wednesday. The Gurugram-based lad is excited about playing at the revered venue for the first time.
Priyanshu said, “It’s my first time ever here so I’m looking forward to a whole new challenge. The greens are outstanding and the course seems like a true test of golf. The rough is up, so one needs to drive the ball good. Whoever keeps the ball in play and hits the mid-irons close is going to have a good week for sure.
“It’s been a good season and now three events coming up in the home stretch so hopefully I get hot and finish the year in an even stronger position. I’m putting well and my iron-play has been my strength recently, so hopefully that will help my cause this week.”
The 2019 PGTI Q School champion who is currently placed 27th in the PGTI Rankings, added, “We really appreciate ICC coming on board as a sponsor on the PGTI and helping the game in India. Can’t thank them more for what they’re doing for Indian professional golf.”
Chandigarh’s Yuvraj Singh Sandhu has also had a memorable rookie season on the PGTI having won the Feeder Tour Order of Merit after posting two wins on the tour this year. The 22-year-old goes into the ICC RCGC Open with some higher goals on his mind.
Sandhu said, “The last time I was at RCGC I was here as India’s No. 1 amateur during the 2017 All India Amateur. So it’s a good feeling to be back as a professional this time around.
“I feel I’m putting my foot down on the PGTI and achieving my goals slowly but surely. My next objective is to earn an exemption into the final stage of the Asian Tour Q School. For that I need to be in the top-20 of the PGTI Rankings at the end of the season. I’m 31st at the moment. So in the last three events I need to put up some solid performances in order to break into the top-20.
“I thank ICC for having us here and hosting us this week.”
The other names to reckon in the field this week are those of the experienced Mukesh Kumar, Shamim Khan (winner of PGTI’s last event) and Chiragh Kumar as well as local favourites Shankar Das and Sunit Chowrasia. Sunit, nephew of the legendary SSP Chawrasia, is fresh from a career-best tied fifth finish at the last PGTI event in Ahmedabad.
The first Pro-Am event was played on Wednesday with a professional being paired with a team of three amateurs each. This contest continues with Sunday’s Pro-Am event where the remaining fourth member of each amateur team that played today will be paired alongside two other professionals. The fourth round of the main event will run concurrently with the Pro-Am event on Sunday. There will be a separate Pro-Am event on Saturday that will run concurrently with the third round of the main event.
Formed in 2006, Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) is the recognised official body of professional golf in India. PGTI's objective is to promote professional golf in the country, as well as to give players an opportunity to be involved in the decision making on all aspects of the game. Headed by Mr. Gautam Thapar (President), PGTI's governing body comprises leading Indian golf professionals. PGTI currently has over 300 members.
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