Panasonic Open India returns with prize fund boost

Rahil GangjeeNew Delhi: The Panasonic Open India will offer an increased prize fund of US$400,000 when it returns for a fifth consecutive year on the Asian Tour Schedule from November 5 to 8, 2015.

The popular event, which is sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI), will be staged once again at the venerable Delhi Golf Club, site of many dramatic finishes in previous editions of the Panasonic Open India.

The tournament was launched in 2011 with a prize fund of US$300,000 and has propelled the careers for many leading players including home hero Anirban Lahiri, who won his first Asian Tour title at the inaugural edition.

Since then, Lahiri, the current Asian Tour Order of Merit leader, has claimed six other Asian Tour titles and also finished tied fifth in the year’s final Major at the PGA Championship to make a return into the world’s top-50 ranking.

Local star Digvijay Singh and Wade Ormsby of Australia secured their maiden Asian Tour titles in 2012 and 2013 respectively while India’s S.S.P. Chawrasia claimed a dramatic win when he defeated countryman Rahil Gangjee and Mithun Perera of Sri Lanka on the first play-off hole last year.

Sarthak Seth, Head - Brand & Marketing Communications, Panasonic India said: “The Panasonic Open India has enjoyed huge success over the last four years and we feel this tournament is growing up year by year. Now prize found increases US$100,000 to bring the total prize fund to US$400,000 on offer to the players in November.

“The tournament has produced worthy champions over the years with the likes of Anirban Lahiri and S.S.P. Chawrasia leading the way and we look forward to returning to the Delhi Golf Club again.

“Through our title sponsorship of the event, we have enjoyed the opportunity to engage with our consumers in India and also across Asia through the global live television broadcasts during the tournament. The Panasonic Open India will also continue to play a role in growing the game of golf in Asia by providing the platform for players to shine.”

Asian Tour CEO Mike Kerr said: “On behalf of our talented players, I would like to extend our fullest appreciation to Panasonic for its continued support of the Panasonic Open India which goes a very long way in promoting and enhancing the sport in India and across the region.

“The Asian Tour also has a very strong partnership with the PGTI, who shares the same goals as us to grow the game by creating playing opportunities for our members. We are delighted to work alongside Panasonic, PGTI and Delhi Golf Club to ensure another successful week of golf at the Panasonic Open India.”

Uttam Singh Mundy, Director, PGTI, said: “Golf in India has enjoyed tremendous growth in recent years and it is thanks to great events such as the Panasonic Open India which has provided a strong platform for our players to excel.

“Anirban Lahiri won his first Asian Tour title at the Panasonic Open India before going on to enjoy huge success on the international stage. It is our hope that more Indian golfers will follow in his footsteps in the future.”