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Kolkata/IBNS: Kolkata will witness big time golf tournament again as the five-day ICC RCGC Golf Championship begins at the historic Royal Calcutta Golf Club course here from Dec 11 next.
The Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) along with the Royal Calcutta Golf Club (RCGC) and the TATA Steel Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) have jointly launched the ICC RCGC Open Golf Championship.
The tournament offers a prize money of Rs. 40 lakh and will feature leading professionals including Kshitij Naveed Kaul, Udayan Mane, Chiragh Kumar, Priyanshu Singh, Shamim Khan, Mukesh Kumar, Karandeep Kochhar.
Besides, Anura Rohana, Mithun Periera, N Thangaraja and K Prabagaran from Sri Lanka, Md. Zamal Hossain Mollah from Bangladesh, Kunal Bhasin from Australia will stake their claim for the top spot. The local challenge will be led by former PGTI Order of Merit champion Shankar Das, former Indian Open Title holder Feroj Ali Mollah and young Sunit Chowrasia.
Addressing the mediapersons here Wednesday, PGTI CEO Uttam Singh Mandy informed that the championship this time assumed a greater importance as the points earned by the players here would be counted for their qualification for the Tokyo Olympics.
The tournament has a unique format which ensures a greater participation of amateurs thus adding more excitement. Amateurs will play alongside the professionals on the Pro-Am day on Dec 11 as well as in the last two rounds of the main event on Dec 14 and 15. The tournament witnesses the return of the TATA Steel PGTI to the RCGC after two years.
Alongside this Golf tournament, the Indian Chamber of Commerce is organizing a grand Corporate Strategic Think Tank Meet titled, ‘India Tomorrow’, Decoding the Future of Business on Dec 13 at Kolkata.
Speaking on the occasion ICC Vice-President Pradeep Sureka said, “ICC is proud to partner RCGC and PGTI in launching the ICC RCGC Open Golf Championship.“ The ICC has signed an MOU with PGTI and RCGC to have this tournament here for the next two years as well."
RCGC Captain Ashish C Doshi said, "The course is in marvellous shape and we will offer the best playing conditions to all the professionals taking part in the Championship. We are also excited to enter into a partnership with ICC and PGTI which will generate great enthusiasm amongst the amateurs and golfers in eastern India.”
Commenting further on the event, the PGTI CEO said, “We thank the ICC and RCGC for partnering with us in launching the ICC RCGC Open Golf Championship. The support of sponsors such as the ICC is a huge boost for Indian professional golf. We eagerly look forward to returning to the RCGC, one of the top championship venues in the country, after a couple of years.”
He said: “The unique format for the tournament has been designed to get the amateurs more involved in the event which would in turn raise the excitement levels among the fans and spectators. The new format would also be more thrilling for the amateurs as they would be playing alongside the top PGTI professionals on the last two days of the tournament when the stakes are the highest.”
Two promising young amateurs Devansh Chadha and Rohit Gupta have been awarded the wild cards and will play the main tournament along with the professionals, Mundy said adding that there would be a training camp for the junior golfers at the same venue on Dec 14 afternoon.