Chawrasia-led TAKE Chennai team eyes top prize  

Bengaluru, June 8 (IANS) The TAKE Chennai team comprising of two times European Tour winner S.S.P. Chawrasia besides two Bengaluru players S. Chikkarangappa, winner of TAKE Solutions India Masters 2014 and Khalin Joshi, third on the PGTI Order of Merit, will start as favourites when they tee off at the Rs.1.2 crore Louis Philippe Cup at the Karnataka Golf Association here on Thursday.

Besides having deep knowledge about the KGA course, the Bengaluru Pros have been in sizzling form as Chikka won the 2015 PGTI Players Championship at the Kensville Golf Club and Joshi topped in the 2015 PGTI Ahmedabad Masters while also notching a tied second place finish at the Asian Tour’s Bangladesh Open 2015 and 14th place finish at the Indonesian Masters 2015.

“My partners are doing really well in India as well as Asia and since they are from Bengaluru, I am sure the home advantage will propel us to the top.

“This is the first time we are coming together so there would be lot of planning and strategy. I am looking forward to sitting with the boys a day before the tournament and chalking out our winning strategy,” said Kolkata’s Chawrasia, runner-up of Hero Indian Open 2015.

Playing at home has advantages, but it also comes with a lot of pressure from the local fans who will cheer them on. Chikka who has earned full Asian Tour Card this year said: “Louis Phillipe Cup is immensely followed tournament and since we are playing in Bengaluru, there will be lot of friends and family who will be walking along for all three days.

“Sure, it is pressure, but their presence comes in handy on important holes. If your putting is not strong, KGA greens can be very costly, and that is where our experience of playing on this course day in and day out will come in handy.”

Reflecting on his teammates, Chikka said: “Khalin and I go long way back as we have played lot of junior and amateur tournaments together. I know his game pretty well and I am sure we will click together.

“Presence of Chawrasia is highly inspirational for both of us, as we have literally grown up watching him clinch various Asian Tour and European tour titles. I am very excited about our chances this time.”

Khalin, who will play at his home course for the first time after turning pro in 2013, said: “SSP is the most experienced player in our team and his guidance will surely help me and Chikka to do well this week. Also, the fact that I made a course record of score 10-under at KGA in the Southern India Amateur 2012 still makes me confident about playing here.”

Apart from TAKE Chennai, there will be six more teams in the fray in the Louis Phillipe Cup which will be played in the strokeplay format for the first time.

Navratna Ahmedabad, Zion Hills Bengaluru, Dev Ellora Pune, DLF The Crest Gurgaon, Laqshya Mumbai and Jaypee Greens Greater Noida will join Take Chennai to vie for the coveted trophy and prize purse of Rs.36 lakhs.


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