Gangjee to open season at Kensville Challenge

Last Updated: Mon, Jan 28, 2013 13:10 hrs

Ahmedabad, Jan 28 (IANS) Rahil Gangjee, fresh from resurrecting his career by earning his card once again for the Asian Tour, is raring to go one better on his 2012 performance at the Gujarat Kensville Challenge 2013.

Gangjee, a former winner on the Asian Tour and a former India No.1 in amateur section, struck a purple patch in the closing stages of the final round of Qualifying Tour to sink four birdies in last five holes and leapfrog to 21st and earn full playing privileges on the Asian tour for 2013.

The first winner of the Gujarat Kensville Challenge, Gaganjeet Bhullar is back once again and all top stars of India and some former European Tour winners, too, will be here. The field also includes Rich Beem a 2002 PGA Championship winner. He will become the first Major champion to tee up at the Kensville Challenge.

The field will be 120 players, from almost 25 nationalities around the world.

"I will open my season with the Kensville Challenge which has great memories for me from 2012. I came so close to the title that I could almost smell before I lost in the play-off," said Gangjee.

"I liked the course so much and had a great time in Gujarat from where my ancestors came. I want to finish what I left unfinished last year. Interestingly I had come to Gujarat after qualifying at the Asian Tour School last year also. So, it is a kind of a repeat, only I want to go one better."

Gangjee, a winner on Asian Tour in his Rookie season in 2004, has spent last two seasons on Tour in the United States.

"It was a great experience playing in US. Some time in future I hope to get back there to the PGA. For the present it is European Challenge Tour in Gujarat and then a lot of events in Asia and India, too," he said.

Shiv Kapur, who was in contention at Kensville last year, has also chosen the event as his season-opener.

"It has good memories and last year it gave me a good start with a top-10 and hopefully I can go better," said Kapur, who closed 2012 with a series of top-10s and finally a win on the domestic PGTI event.

"I have been striking the ball and playing well in practice rounds and it will nice to carry on from where I left at the end of 2012," added Kapur, who ended a seven-year title drought at the PGTI event.

The Gujarat Kensville Challenge, the only European Challenge Tour event in India, is now in its third year and is carrying a purse of 200,000 euros. It is the only international event in India totally sponsored by a golf course.

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