Tuesday, Apr 08, 2003
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By Our Sports Reporter
Three-week break on the APGA Tour was a good excuse for the tour regulars to be at the oldest tournament on the Indian PGA Tour. Atwal's exploits on the Asian PGA Tour has made him the hottest property in this part of the world.
Atwal takes on Romit Bose and tees off first from the front nine while the number two seed, Jeev Milkha Singh is squared up against Prem.
The 64-player field is divided into four brackets with four seeded players heading each quarter. The Rs. 10 lakh event forms the 23rd and penultimate leg of the Hero Honda Indian PGA Tour. The brackets have been thoughtfully named after four greats of Indian golf, I. S. Malik, Mohinder Bal, Billoo Sethi and R.K. Pitambar.
With just one tournament, the Hero Golf Chandigarh Open, remaining in the following week, Mukesh Kumar is firmly atop the Order of Merit with 10 title wins.
For Mukesh, a win here has more stakes than the top prize money of Rs. 1.75 lakh. Should he win the SRF Matchplay title, Mukesh will have the record 11th title in a single season. Mukesh, who is just about testing his footing on the APGA Tour, made the cut and finished 50th in Thailand Open on Sunday.
Though the very nature of the matchplay makes it difficult to predict, a good showing in the last week's Thailand Open should give Gaurav Ghei some boost. Ghei finished joint seventh in Thailand, but he has been handed one of the toughest draw. After K. P. S. Sekhon, if the draw progress as expected, he should face Mr. Consistent, Arjun Singh.
In the opposite half, seventh seed Amandeep Johl and 10th seed Uttam Singh Mundy should clash in the second round. Johl, who finished 10th in Thai Open, meets Tarun Sardesai while Mundy takes on Gursimran Sethi.
Meanwhile, the Hero Honda Masters champion Harmeet Kahlon pulled out of the tournament citing his inability to reach Delhi in time. Kahlon had finished 41st in Thailand on Sunday and he informed the Professional Golfer's Association of India (PGAI) that would be difficult for him to reach Delhi.
Important match-ups: Basad Ali v Amit Dube; Shiv Prakash v Dinesh Kumar; Gaurav Ghei v K. P. S. Sekhon; Uttam Singh Mundy v Gursimran Sethi.
The seedings: 1. Arjun Atwal, 2. Jeev Milkha Singh, 3. Mukesh Kumar, 4. Digvijay Singh, 5. Vijay Kumar, 6. S. S. P. Chowrasia, 7. Amandeep Johl, 8. Arjun Singh, 9. Gaurav Ghei, 10. Uttam Singh Mundy, 11. Ashok Kumar, 12. Feroz Ali, 13. Yusuf Ali, 14. Rafiq Ali, 15. Shammim Khan, 16. Shiv Prakash.
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