August 18, 2014
The Indian contingent travels from Denmark to the Czech Republic this week. While SSP Chowrasia and Shiv Kapur will seek to consolidate their gains from last week, Gaganjeet Bhullar and Jeev Milkha Singh will hope for vastly improved performances. The D+D Real Czech Masters is back this year, for the first time since 2011. The tournament will be held this week at the Albatross Golf Resort outside Prague.
Chowrasia finished T9 at the inaugural Made in Denmark this Sunday and Shiv Kapur settled for T22 after threatening the top twenty for much of the week. Bhullar slipped to T74 after falling to a 76 in the final round. Jeev failed to make the cut.
The beautifully laid out course measures an imposing 7466 yards with a par score of 72. The previous edition of the Czech Open was won by Oliver Fisher, who is on a high again after finishing T4 at the Made in Denmark.
“It will be nice going back to the Czech Republic. A few of my friends are coming out for the week,” said Fisher. “Winning there in 2011 was great. It showed that I could win. That was the biggest thing for me – to show that I could do it. The win in the Czech was my first European Tour win and it will always be a great memory.”
Water is a persistent hazard on this appealing course – offering both an aesthetic edge and serving as a constant threat to errant golfers. With the Ryder Cup around the corner, this week and next will play a crucial role in enabling the men on the fringe to stake a final claim to a place on the team.
Three men are in a race to the death to try and lay claim to a direct entry to the team Jamie Donaldson, Stephen Gallacher and Joost Luiten could bolster their chances by winning the title this week. The lengthy course has four par-5 holes, offering plenty of birdie opportunities to the golfers who can keep it on the fairway.
Report by Anand Datla