Chiragh Kumar to defend Panasonic Open India title at Delhi Golf Club




New Delhi: India’s Chiragh Kumar is all set to defend his title for the first time at the US$400,000 Panasonic Open India which tees off at the Delhi Golf Club from December 1 to 4. The sixth edition will witness a full field of 120 players from the Asian Tour and the Professional Golf Tour of India.
Defending champion Chiragh Kumar (c) and Chikkarangappa with the Panasonic Open trophy

NEW DELHI- INDIA – L-R- Liang Wenchong of China, Chiragh Kumar of India, defending champion and S.Chikkaranagappa of india pictured at a press conference on Tuesday, November 29, 2016 ahead of the Panasonic Open India at the Delhi Golf Club, New Delhi, India, a USD $ 400.000 Asian Tour event – December 1 – 4, 2016. Picture by Paul Lakatos/Asian Tour.

Rising Indian stars Chikkarangappa, Rashid Khan and Shubhankar Sharma  will vie for glory alongside veterans Jeev Milkha Singh, Arjun Atwal, Jyoti Randhawa and 2012 champion Digvijay Singh. Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond and Mithun Perera of Sri Lanka will also be hunting for a breakthrough Asian Tour victory at the Panasonic Open India 2016.

Manish Sharma – President & CEO, Panasonic India & South Asia said: “We are immensely proud to be supporting the Panasonic Open India, which has been a great platform for propelling the region’s top stars onto the world stage since it was launched in 2011.

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“Indian stars Anirban Lahiri and S.S.P. Chawrasia are good examples of players who have advanced their careers onto the international level after winning the Panasonic Open India. It is our goal and mission to grow the game of golf in India as well as across the region. We hope to see the emergence of another worthy champion at the Panasonic Open India this week.”

Chikkarangappa, one of the pair who represented India in the prestigious World Cup of Golf last week, will take advantage of his recent run of good form to mount another title challenge for his breakthrough on the region’s premier Tour.

“I think a win is around the corner for me. I just have to stay patient. I think my game has gotten better over the last few events so I just need to focus on what I need to do and things should fall in place,” said the 23-year-old Indian, who has notched four top-10s to sit in 27th place on the current money list.

Kumar, who is relishing the chance to defend his title for the first time in his career, said: “I have been looking forward to this week. The game is feeling good right now and I am feeling confident coming back here. Hopefully I will be spurred on by the happy memories last year for a successful title defence this week.”

 The father of one had earlier eased the pressure of retaining his Tour card for 2017 following a tied-fourth result in Manila, which propelled him to 40th place on the current Order of Merit.
With the Panasonic Open India being the penultimate event of the 2016 season, players will have everything to play for as they vie to break into top-60 on the final Order of Merit, which is the cut-off mark for players to retain their Tour cards for the 2017 season.
Defending Champion Chiragh Kumar Unplugged:
  • Coach: Alessio Cocchi & Nonita Lal Qureshi
  • Home Course: Delhi Golf Club & Air Force Golf Club
  • Turned Pro: 2006
  • Early years: My father, Mr. Anil Kumar introduced me to the game when I was 13-years old. I spent my early years working under Ajai Gupta at Delhi Golf Club.
  • Highlights as an Amateur: Winning the team silver at the 2006 Doha Asian Games alongside Gaganjeet Bhullar, Anirban Lahiri and Joseph Chakola. It was a very proud moment for the entire team. It is something that I’ll remember for the rest of my life. I also won the amateur category at the 2006 Indian Open. I was also a member of the Indian team that won the Ravi Kirloskar trophy at Bangalore and the International team championship at Lahore, and Sri Lanka Amateur team championship with Jasjeet Singh in 2005-06.
  • Highlights as a Pro: Winning the Panasonic Open India 2015 title at the venerable Delhi Golf Club. It was so close to the very end and I knew I won only on the 18th green, so that’s definitely one of the highlights of my pro career. It was an awesome feeling to grind it out and win by three shots over Siddikur Rahman of Bangladesh and Thai veteran Thaworn Wiratchant. I’ll carry some confidence heading into the event. There are so many memories from last year.
  • Dream Four-ball: I would like to play with Fred Couples, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson
  • Most memorable moment on a golf course: Winning the team silver at the 2006 Doha Asian Games alongside Gaganjeet Bhullar, Anirban Lahiri and Joseph Chakola.
  • Best shot ever: At the 2006 Singapore Amateur, I was tied for the lead going into the final hole and made a birdie under pressure to win the tournament.
  • Personal life: My wife’s name is Namrata, and we have a One year old daughter Aynaz which translates into glory of the Moon.
Favourites
  • Golfer: Tiger Woods
  • Sportsperson: Sachin Tendulkar
  • Actor: Aamir Khan and Katreena Kaif
  • Movies: 3 Idiots & Lord of the Rings
  • Music: Bollywood songs
  • Golf course: Delhi Golf Club & Amata Springs, Thailand
  • Cuisine: Thai, Chinese and Indian

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