Shamim Khan, going through one of the best seasons of his 17-year-old professional career, will grab the maximum attention in the Rs. 95 lakh DLF Masters starting at the DLF Golf and Country Club here on Thursday.
Shamim, after fine-tuning his game, has performed better in the latter part of the season. Two of his three wins on the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) this year have come in the last couple of months.
His fine form has helped Shamim sit atop the PGTI money list at present and a solid performance at the DLF Masters may win him the Order of Merit (OoM).
Defending champion Himmat Rai, Jyoti Randhawa, S.S.P. Chowrasia, Rashid Khan, Ashok Kumar, Mukesh Kumar and Chiragh Kumar are some of the leading players who will try to finish well in this elite event on the PGTI calendar.
Randhawa, who expects to see some close contests in the next four days, said the overall quality of competitions in India had increased with golfers being able to card impressive scores.
“The competition level in India has increased. Winning an event in India is like winning an event on the Asian Tour,” he said.
The two-time champion said the DLF Masters would help him prepare for upcoming Asian Tour events like Barclays Singapore Open and UBS Hong Kong Open later this month.
“I took a break this summer. I have worked on my fitness, form and game. I will use this event to build my confidence,” he said.
Title holder Rai, who has managed some top-20 finishes in the Asian Tour this year, hoped to put up a good show.
“The course is in immaculate shape. I am looking for some home advantage,” he said.
With longer fairways and faster greens, the neatly done course is all set to pose some challenges for the golfers over the weekend.