Karandeep Kochhar and Gaganjeet Bhullar represent the spectrum of Indian golf

A galaxy of Indian and international golfers are set to enthral spectators at the DGC Open, an Asian Tour event in Delhi

Gaganjeet Bhullar - PGTI Tour

15 March 2022: Gaganjeet Bhullar and Karandeep Kochhar are at the opposite ends of the tales of success on the Asian Tour. Yet, they also represent the extent of talent among the Indians, who will tee off at the inaugural The DGC Open presented by Mastercard.

Bhullar, with nine wins on the Asian Tour, is the most successful ever among all Indian players on the Tour, while the promising Kochhar, who won a pro event while still being an amateur, primed themselves up at the International Series, Thailand, which was the last event before The DGC Open.

The DGC Open presented by Mastercard is a $ 500,000 event promoted by the DGC and co-sanctioned by Asian Tour and India’s Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI).

The wealth of Indian talent will be on full display during the week of March 24-27. The focus is on the youngsters, who have begun to make a name for themselves, but the experienced lot including some veterans, who have carved out a place for themselves in the history books are still hungry.

Jyoti Randhawa (8 times) and Jeev Milkha Singh (6 times) are two veterans as is SSP Chawrasia with six wins. Shiv Kapur (3 Asian Tour plus an unofficial Asian event Royals Cup in 2017), Rahil Gangjee and Rashid Khan with two each and several one-time winners like Chiragh Kumar, Viraj Madappa, Ajeetesh Sandhu and Khalin Joshi would surely love to add to their trophy cabinet on home turf. The Indian one-time winners of international events at The DGC Open also include seasoned Mukesh Kumar and C Muniyappa.

Playing at the Black Mountain Golf Club in Hua Hin, in the final event ahead of The DGC Open, Bhullar shot a superb 8-under 64 and finished in Top-5 in Thailand in his first appearance of 2022.

Kochhar, winner last month on the PGTI, played superbly to finish T-16 in the same tournament, while Ajeetesh Sandhu and Honey Baisoya shot all four rounds in the 60s and finished in the low 30s. Also showing good form were Aman Raj, Viraj Madappa and S Chikkarangappa.

Bhullar said, “I am looking forward to the DGC Open and I really loved the new layout, where I had the opportunity to play when it was first opened. I played alongside Shubhankar Sharma and the legendary Kapil Dev and thoroughly enjoyed the challenge. So, I am relishing the chance to play on it competitively in a few weeks.”

The tall strapping Kochhar, who belongs to the rare group of amateurs who won a pro tournament before turning pro, has blossomed into a final player. He won a tournament on the domestic PGTI Tour and in his very next start, played exceedingly well in Thailand. There was a point when he had a share of the lead. He ended T-16 and is looking at going better than that. Kochhar’s best on Asian Tour is T-2 at the 2019 Panasonic Open.

“I love playing the DGC and I can’t wait for it to start,” he says and could well be one of the players to watch out for.

In the week before the International Series in Thailand, some other Indians showed encouraging signs as Rashid Khan finished T-6 and Chikkarangappa was T-12, while Rahil Gangjee, Viraj Madappa and Aman Raj were 30s and 40s on the leaderboard.