Top-flight golf returns to the city after four years with the Chennai Open Championship which begins here on Tuesday with the participation of the country's top golfers.
The tournament, part of the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) Tour and to be held at the Tamil Nadu Golf Federation (TNGF) golf course, will see 126 golfers including 123 professionals and three amateurs taking part, the organisers said at a press meet here on Monday.
Leading Indian professionals in the field include Khalin Joshi, winner of the PGTI event in Coimbatore last week, Karandeep Kochhar, Manu Gandas, Aman Raj and Shamim Khan among others apart from the defending champion Mithun Perera of Sri Lanka.
The local challenge would come from Chennai-based professionals Sandeep Syal, C Arul, A Charles Ros, L Selvaraj, Pradyumna Prakash and S Prasanth.
Also, India Test cricketer Murali Vijay and state cricketer Anirudha Srikkanth, son of former India captain Krish Srikkanth, would be among the three Chennai-based amateurs in the field, apart from Suman Ranjeet.
The event offers a prize purse of ₹40 lakh. The Pro-Am event will be held on August 27.
Talking to reporters, PGTI CEO Uttam Singh Mundy, said, "The PGTI makes its long-awaited return to the city of Chennai, a major golfing hub. The new venue, the TNGF golf course is sure to serve up a new set of challenges for the professionals. An enthralling week of golf thus lies in prospect." On his part, Karandeep Kochar said he was looking forward to the challenge of playing at a new venue.
TNGF honorary secretary R K Jhaver said he expected the players to find the course to be very challenging and added that "we do not expect many sub-par scores."
The Chennai Open is supported among others by Impiger Technologies, Amrutanjan and Gujarat Tourism.