New Delhi, November 1, 2017: Featuring one of the strongest Indian contingents ever, the Panasonic Open India field includes every top Indian pro, barring the US-based Anirban Lahiri, and the legendary Jeev Milkha Singh, who pulled out at the last minute because of an injury sustained on his left following a freak incident. He hurt his left elbow while trying to open a coconut water bottle. “I was really looking forward to this week, but I need to rest and allow the elbow to heel,” said Jeev.
The field includes all four Indians, who have tasted success on the Asian Tour this season. Leading the way is SSP Chawrasia, who successfully defended his Hero Indian Open earlier this year, and he is followed by Shiv Kapur, who won in Yeangder Heritage, Ajeetesh Sandhu, winner at the Yeangder TPC and Gaganjeet Bhullar at Macao Open.
Jyoti Randhawa, who now divides his time between golf and ‘adventure sports’, is the most successful player at DGC, having won four Asian Tour titles here, besides another couple of Indian tour titles. “These days I play to enjoy myself and I am loving it,” said Randhawa, who was Tied-2nd with Rashid Khan last year, as Mukesh won the title.
Gaganjeet Bhullar and Shiv Kapur are both back to their winning ways, while Ajeetesh Sandhu has just broken through. Rashid Khan, twice winner on Asian Tour in the past, has not won since 2014 but looks ready to do so on his home turf, just as he did for his maiden win in 2014.
Meanwhile the young brigade with likes of Shubhankar Sharma, Khalin Joshi, S Chikkarangappa and Udayan Mane will also fancy their chances.
The international challenge will include the most successful of all Asian Tour stars, Thaworn Wiratchant, who has 18 titles on the Tour. However, he has not won since his Kings Cup and Queen’s Cup double in 2014.