Pune Open Golf Championship 2018: Putt smart is the player mantra
The city is set to witness one of the top golfing events in the country, the Pune Open Golf Championship 2018, from April 10-13, at the Poona Golf Course. The tournament is the sixth event of the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) 2018’s season and the third year it is being held in Pune.
The tournament, which offers a prize of ₹30 lakh, will see India’s top golfers like Ajeetesh Sandhu, Khalin Joshi, Rashid Khan, Chikkarangappa, Chiragh Kumar, Rahil Gangjee, Himmat Singh Rai and Viraj Madappa, tackle the fast greens of the Poona Golf Course.
“Driving is the key when playing the Poona Golf Course because the fairways are short and narrow. We will have to make sure to place the ball in the fairway. There has to be precision in every shot and you have to putt well on the greens,” said Ajeetesh Sandhu, a winner on the Asian Tour last year.
Speaking about the greens, Rahil Gangjee, who has vast experience of playing at the Poona Golf course, said, “The greens tend to get fast. They will present a challenge during the tournament.”
“The lines of the greens are tough to read and will add to the difficulty of the course,” added Khalin Joshi, another top professional golfer.
Gurki Shergill (winner of 8th TATA Open 2009), Pravin Pathare, Sameer Shaikh, Akshay Damale and Sagar Raghuvanshi as well as amateurs Jay Shirke and Pratik Nirmale, will be representing the city at the national event.
Sameer Shaikh is banking on his short game in order to get a top 10 finish. “The most important thing to remember for the tournament at the Poona Golf Course is the short game. I have to chip and putt well as this is the major challenge which the course offers.”
The 72-hole stroke-play tournament will feature a field of 125 professionals. The cut will be applied after the first 36 holes. The top 50 players and ties will make the halfway cut and continue to play for another 36 holes.
Uttam Singh Mundy, CEO, PGTI, said, “We are delighted to be back in Pune for the Pune Open 2018. Pune is today an important golfing centre in western India and this event gives us an opportunity to further popularise the sport in the city.”