Indians set to give tough fight to foreign contingent at Classic Golf & Country Club Intl Championship
Harpal Singh Bedi
Sep 10, 2019
Gurugram : Promising youngsters Viraj Madappa, Khalin Joshi, Ajeetesh Sandhu, winner in Chinese Taipei in 2017, Rashid Khan, a two-time winner on Asian Tour, S Chikkarangappa, will spearhead Indian challenge against a very strong foreign contingent including Miguel Carballo,of Argentina, Korea’s Taehee Lee , Japan’s Masahiro Kawamura and Thai talent Kosuke Hamamoto, at the Classic Golf & Country Club International Championship to be held from September 12 to September 15, .
Other Indians in the fray are include , Aman Raj, Kshitij Naved Kaul, Aadil Bedi and Karandeep Kochhar, who comes fresh off a Top-10 in Chinese Taipei last week., veteran Mukesh Kumar, winner of more than 100 titles on the Indian PGTI Tour, Digvijay Singh, C Muniyappa, Himmat Singh and veterans Feroze Ali and Vijay Kumar.
The field also includes two veterans, Jyoti Randhawa, the 2002 Asian Tour No. 1 and winner of multiple titles, and Singapore legend Mardan Mamat, who has tasted success in India.
The field of 156 will have players from about 24 countries and will be an interesting clash between the young and the experienced from all over the Asian Tour.
The field also includes two standout amateurs, Kartik Sharma, who has just made the International Team for Junior President’s Cup in Melbourne later this year. He will also represent India at the Asia-Pacific Amateurs later this month. The other amateur to watch out for will be the long-hitting Harshjeet Sethie, for whom Classic Golf & Country Club is very familiar. The young duo will also be representing India at the Nomura Cup later this year. Also, Saurav Rathi, a product of the Classic Golf & Country Club, will turn pro at the event.
Carballo, who ended his search for a maiden Asian Tour title a fortnight ago in Indonesia, played in the United States between 2007 and 2014, including two years on the PGA Tour. He won twice on the Korn Ferry Tour, the second rung Tour in the US. Before coming to US, Carballo played on the Latin American and the European Challenge Tours. He turned to the Korn Ferry Tour for another stint from 2015 to 2017 before coming to the Asian Development Tour (ADT) and Asian Tour at the start of 2018.
On the ADT he won the 2018 Ciputra Golfpreneur Tournament in Indonesia and led the Order of Merit to earn promotion to the Asian Tour. He again won on the 2019 ADT in Phuket and last month, he won his first Asian Tour event, the Bank BRI Indonesia Open.
Young talent Hamamoto, who came through the Asian Tour qualifiers last December, came within striking distance of winning in his rookie year as he was second at TPC Yeangder in Chinese Taipei. That finish earned him a spot in this week’s Classic Golf & Country Club International Championship.
Hamamoto, who had a stellar amateur career, was born to a Japanese father and a Thai mother, but has chosen to play for Thailand. He was the best Thai at T-7 in the Asian Games and his team narrowly missed the bronze medal as they finished fourth, one shot behind the South Koreans.
Kawamura, who was second three times on the Japan Tour last year also finished second at the Hero Indian Open earlier this year. He is back in India in search for his first win since his maiden success in 2013.
Kawamura was 20 when he won the Asia-Pacific Panasonic Open in Osaka in 2013. After that he had a bunch of Top-10s, but no wins. He had a rough season in 2017 with no Top-10s. He found his touch again in 2018, when he had three second place finishes in Japan and also qualified for the Open Championships, where he was T-39.
Taehee Lee winner of the highly competitive Maekyung Open this year is another strong contender at the inaugural edition of the Classic Golf & Country Club International Championship.
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