Chandigarh, India's golfing nursery, which has provided the nation with some of its biggest heroes in the sport, will yet again grab the spotlight when the crème of Indian golfing talent congregates for the Hero Cycles-sponsored Hero Golf Chandigarh Open 2003.
The 24th and season-ending event on the Hero Honda Golf Tour's 2002-03 season commences with the pro-am on Wednesday April 16. The main event will be played from April 17 to 20. The tournament offers a prize purse of Rs One million, with the winner's share totaling to a whopping Rs 162,000.
The Delhi-based Tiger Sports Marketing are the event managers.
"Chandigarh is a city steeped in golfing tradition. Through the Hero Golf Chandigarh Open we aim to keep this tradition alive by providing up-and-coming youngsters in this city with the opportunity to rub shoulders with the best in the business.
"We aim to help them make a name for themselves, like Jeev Milkha Singh, Harmeet Kahlon, Amandeep Johl and Amritinder Singh have, the world over," said Sunil Kant Munjal, managing director, Hero Cycles Ltd.
"The Hero Golf Chandigarh Open is one of the most looked forward to tournaments on the Hero Honda Golf Tour," said Digraj Singh, vice-president, Tiger Sports Marketing.
"Every professional golfer on the Tour dreams of winning this event. This being the final tournament on the 2002-03 calendar, there will be a concerted effort on the part of each and every golfer to end the year on a high note. The Chandigarh Golf Club course is a superb facility and is bound to test the skills of the golfers to the hilt.
"We are certainly in for some really exciting golf this week," he added.
The field for the tournament includes the likes of defending champion Arjun Singh; thrice 'Champion Golfer of the Year' award winner and current Money List leader Mukesh Kumar; thrice-Hero Golf Chandigarh Open winner ('98, '99 & 2000) Amritinder Singh; winner of last week's SRF All-India Matchplay Golf Championship Vijay Kumar; runner-up at the SRF All-India Matchplay Golf Championship Rahil Gangjee; twice-Indian Open winner ('91 & '93) Ali Sher; '98 Indian Open winner and third-ranked golfer on this season's Money List Feroz Ali; the first Indian to qualify for the main draw of a 'Major' (British Open), Gaurav Ghei; twice Honda-Siel PGA Golf Championship winner Uttam Singh Mundy, and a number of other big names on the Tour like Shiv Prakash, Rafiq Ali and Zai Kipgen, to name a few.
The Chandigarh Golf Club hosts a picturesque yet challenging par-72 course. Lush green and excellently maintained fairways are strategically peppered with bunkers and water-bodies, which call for accuracy off the tee and effective course management skills.
"The Chandigarh Golf Club course was where Jeev, Harmeet, Amandeep and Amritinder learnt all their golf. The quality of the players it produces reveals the character of a golf course," said Raja Malvinder Singh, president Chandigarh Golf Club.
"On our part we have spared no effort in ensuring that the golf course is spruced up for the Hero Golf Chandigarh Open. This tournament is one of the highlights of our golfing calendar and we look forward to a battle royal between the golf course and the golf stars," he concluded.