Indian Golfers Hope to Maintain Success Story at Panasonic Open

New Delhi, March 28 (IANS) Indian golfers, who have had a great deal of success on home courses, will hope to continue in the same vein when they tee-off for the inaugural $300,000 Panasonic Open (India) here April 6-9.

The Indian golfers, who have time and again won international events sanctioned both by the Asian Tour and European Tour, will look to add to the successes of SSP Chowrasia and Gaganjeet Bhullar, who have won two of the three international events held in India this year.

Commenting on Indian success at home, Manav Jaini, who has finished in the top-5 in each of his last three appearances on his home course, the Delhi Golf Club, said: Playing on the home course is definitely an advantage, as we have played here a lot," said Jaini

Jaini was tied third at the Indian Open, fifth at season-ending 2010 PGTI Masters and tied fourth at the SAIL Open, all at the DGC.

Digvijay Singh and fresh talent Himmat Rai and Rashid Khan were in agreement at the Delhi Golf Club.

"A big event at home means more chances for Indian golfers. Also it shows the growing strength of Indian golf," said Digvijay.

Young Rashid Khan, who has made an impressive entry into professional golf after taking India to a silver at Asian Games last November, said: "I have received all the help I have to become a good player and I hope to improve further."

The field for the Panasonic Open (India) includes Jyoti Randhawa. Randhawa, who created history when he became the first Indian to win the prestigious Asian Tour Order of Merit title in 2002, will also be eager to get back to his winning ways next week.

Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand, a 12-time winner in Asia, will be aiming to make his way back to the winner's rostrum and match compatriot's Thongchai Jaidee's record of 13 victories.

Thaworn won at the Delhi Golf Club in 2005, the season he finished number one on the Order of Merit, and the Thai veteran will no doubt be one of the leading contenders next week.

Australia's Marcus Both, a two-time winner in Asia, will also be making another anticipated return to the challenging course. Danny Chia, the first Malaysian to play in all four rounds of the British Open last season, Singapore's Mardan Mamat and Bangladesh's Siddikur, who narrowly missed out on his second Asian Tour win last week, will also feature in the tournament.

The top three players of the tournament will be invited to play in the Asia-Pacific Panasonic Open, scheduled September 22-25 at Biwako Country Club in Shiga Prefecture.



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