Gujarat Kensville Challenge to tee off on Jan 26

New Delhi: Defending champion Gaganjeet Bhullar will spearhead a strong Indian challenge in the second edition of the Gujarat Kensville Challenge scheduled to be held at the Kensville golf and county club from January 26.

The tournament, an event which is co-sanctioned by the European Challenge Tour and the PGTI, will see a strong field of 114 players, including 60 golfers from the European Challenge tour, vying for a total purse of 200,000 Euros.

Winner of the 2010 US Amateur Championship, Peter Uihlein, who retained the World`s No. 1 Amateur spot for 52 weeks from June 2010, will kick start his professional career from the Kensville Challenge.

India`s golf ace Jeev Milkha Singh, would not be available to participate in the tournament, which is to be held at his `signature` course.

The event will also mark a unique qualifying round, which is aimed at providing opportunity to three professionals who otherwise have not qualified for the main event.

The qualifying round, consisting of 18 hole stroke-play, will be played at the Noida Golf Course from Wednesday.

Entries for the round are strictly based on the first come, first serve basis.

Apart from the 60 golfers from the European Challenge tour, the event will witness 48 PGTI professionals in action besides six sponsor invitees, which include the three toppers from the qualifying round besides Uihlein, the organizers informed.

Some of the top Indian professionals such as Anirbhan Laihiri, Himmat Rai and others have given their names but it remains to be seen if they give their final nod to the event since the Asian qualifiers are to be held just before the tournament.

Jeev cited some prior commitments as a reason for his absence but hoped that some Indian wins the tournament this time also.

"I have a prior commitment to participate in the Abu Dhabi Open, so I won`t be available. But I am sure the event is going to be successful. I hope this year also an Indian wins the championship," he said.

The golf-course, which has under gone some changes since last year is tipped to give a tough time to the golfers courtesy some fast greens, that came into question even during the inaugural season.

However, Jeev said it great to play on the fast greens.

"It takes around five years before we get everything right. But personally I would love to putt on fast greens rather than on a slower one," he said.


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