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Focus on golfers Jeev, Atwal, Randhawa in McLeod Russel meet

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Kolkata:  Veterans Jeev Milkha Singh, Arjun Atwal and Jyoti Randhawa will be playing together for the first time in a Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) event when a strong field of 65 players vies for top honours in the season-ending fifth edition of the McLeod Russel Tour Championship from December 22.

This will be debut event for both Jeev, the most successful Indian golfer on the European Tour, and Shiv Kapur, with the duo also playing in Kolkata at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club (RCGC) after almost a decade.

S. Chikka is the defending champion. The total prize money is Rs 1.5 crore, which is the same as last year.

The event will see top 50 players from this year’s PGTI rankings in the field of 65. The invitees include a plethora of the country’s top golfers like Jeev, Arjun Atwal, former champion S.S.P. Chawrasia, Gaganjeet Bhullar, Shiv, Jyoti and Rahil Gangjee.

Among the foreign contingent, two-time Asian Tour winner Pariya Junhasavasdikul (Thailand) will be the one to watch out for besides Mithun Perera (Sri Lanka), Shintaro Kobayashi (Japan), Suradit Yongcharoenchai (Thailand), Choo Tze-Huang (Singapore), Choo Zhe Ming (Malaysia) and Naru Toshi Yamaoka (Japan).

The three-day meet will be a 72-stroke-play championship and there will be no cut applied after 36 holes.

This competition this year is likely to be the closest for the player of the year as everyone in the top-10 of the PGTI rankings has a realistic hope of ending up as No.1.

“The added presence of of some of the biggest international stars of Indian golf as well as some renowned foreign players will spice up the contest even more,” PGTI Director Uttam Singh Mundy told reporters.

“Indian players have been making waves across the globe this year. Look at Aditi (Ashok) who won back-to-back (Ladies) European Tours,” he added.

World No.77 Anirban Lahiri, India’s top-ranked golfer, has decided to take time off and is not playing in this event, the organisers revealed when asked about the 29-year-old.

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