Mukesh starts favourite

Local lads Muniyappa, Lahiri raring to go

Mukesh Kumar

The 21-year-old Bhullar, who clinched his maiden PGTI title this March, reeled off three more title-winning performances including a commanding one at the Eagleton Golf Resort a fortnight ago, to knock Mukesh from the top of the PGTI Order of Merit List before turning his focus on Europe.

Capitalising on the youngster’s absence, the 44-year-old Mukesh played some lovely golf in Chennai to clinch the Tamil Nadu Open last month thereby warming himself up nicely for one of the most challenging courses in India. The par-72 KGA recently underwent renovation but still retains its key features -- tighter fairways and lightening quick greens.

“I’m really happy to be here playing at the KGA,” said Mukesh, after a round of the Pro-Am tournament on Tuesday. “The conditions are really beautiful and the course is playing brilliant. Apart from the Delhi Golf Club and DLF (in Gurgaon), KGA ranks as one of the most testing courses.

“Nearly 90 per cent of it plays very long. Your driving has to be accurate. It is not easy to get away if you hit to the right or left of fairway. With the greens too playing true, putting also has to be on the mark,” added Mukesh, who has topped Order of Merit List for five seasons.

However, it is not just the course that is a cause of concern for Mukesh. Bangalore pros, C Muniyappa and Anirban Lahiri, fresh from a three-month Asian Tour stint, will be raring to put their experience to good use.

“My game has really improved after playing in Asia. But, sadly in Chennai my putting was a bit erratic. Nevertheless, I am really excited to be playing at my home course and the knowledge of local conditions should help me,” said Muniyappa.

Meanwhile, Muniyappa led his team to victory with a score of 54.7 in the Pro-Am event played in the team scramble format where the team’s best ball was chosen on every shot including the putting green.

Muniyappa’s team comprised of amateurs Pankaj Ganeriwal, Nitin Jajoo and Utpal Desai. Kunal Bhasin led his team to second place with 56.7, while Ranjit Singh ans company finished third with 56.9.

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