Big-time golfers to set course ablaze
An array of champions from European and Asian Tours will play alongside India’s homegrown talent in what is easily the strongest-ever Euros 200,000 Gujarat Kensville Challenge starting from Thursday.
The third edition of the only European Challenge Tour event held in India will also see the start of the Indian PGTI and European Challenge Tours for 2013 on Thursday.
The Kensville Challenge, which has now become the regular season-opener for both the Tours, will for the first time feature a Major champion, Rich Beem, who won the 2002 PGA Championships ahead of Tiger Woods.
The stellar field also includes a bunch of former European Tour winners, from Rhys Davies to Raymond Russell, Jose-Phillipe Lima and Daniel Vanscik.
There is a also a group of Asian Tour winners, like the 2011 Kensville winner, Gaganjeet Bhullar (four wins), Shiv Kapur, Rahil Gangjee, Himmat Rai and old warhorse, Gaurav Ghei (three wins).
Bhullar gave himself a good tune-up with a win for the pro-Am, where his team-mates were Varun Parikh, Kairav Shah and Anshul Patel, three young and very talented golfers from Ahmedabad.
Bhullar had nine birdies in his round, indicating that he is in great form.
Scott Barr is a surprise entrant, having last played in the Challenge Tour back in 2008. He is now a regular on Asian Tour.
The other player who makes his maiden appearance in Kensville is Terry Pilkadaris, a former three-time winner on Asian Tour, who now plays on OneAsia.
Two other youngsters who make a return to Kensville after making their debut here last year, are An Byeong-hun and Peter Uihlein, the 2009 and 2010 US Amateur champions, who turned pro in 2011 and played Challenge Tour in 2012.
Adding to the excitement is a bunch of young Indians, who are turning pro with this event
The group is led by two-time Indian amateur champion, S Chikkarangappa and includes Angad Cheema, the reigning Indian amateur champion, 16-year-old Shubhankar Sharma, and Honey Baisoya. This lot is hoping to play the Indian PGTI Tour and then gradually move to Asian and higher Tours.