Kochi: The Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI), ‘the official sanctioning body of professional golf in India’, will begin its landmark 10th season by returning to Kochi for the third edition of the CIAL Cochin Masters presented by PGTI. The opening tournament of the season carries an enhanced prize purse of Rs. 60 lakh and will be staged from February 10 – 13, 2016, at the CIAL Golf Club in Kochi. The Pro-Am event will be played on February 14, 2016.
The tournament field will feature some of the top Indian professionals such as defending champion Mukesh Kumar, Digvijay Singh (a winner on the Asian Tour), C Muniyappa (former Indian Open champion), Shamim Khan, Om Prakash Chouhan, Harendra Gupta, M Dharma, Ajeetesh Sandhu, Vinod Kumar, Gaurav Pratap Singh, Vikrant Chopra, Angad Cheema and Manav Jaini, to name a few. Madesh K of the CIAL Golf Club is the only local professional in the field.
The field will also feature foreign professionals such as N Thangaraja (Sri Lanka), Anura Rohana (Sri Lanka), K Prabagaran (Sri Lanka) and Kunal Bhasin (Australia).
Mr. V. J. Kurian, IAS, Managing Director, Cochin International Airport Limited, said, “The stupendous success of the last two editions of the PGTI Cochin Masters certainly prompts us to be a more responsible host this time. As the only 18-hole course in the state, CIAL Golf Club is matured enough to feature international standards. This time we are sure that the PGTI players will have a more challenging course to play. We are certainly looking forward to this season.”
Mr. A. M. Shabeer, Executive Director, Cochin International Airport Limited, said, “We have always been focused to scale up the facilities over CGC. As compared to last season, the fairways and greens have fully matured now. We have also deployed finest available machinery to update the course. Our driving range can now accommodate 20 players at a time to fine tune their skills.”
Announcing the event, Mr. Uttam Singh Mundy, Director, PGTI, said, “We are excited to begin PGTI’s milestone 10th season by returning to Kochi for the third edition of the CIAL Cochin Masters presented by PGTI which boasts of an increased prize purse. The CIAL Golf Club, the top championship venue in Kerala, provides the ideal setting to flag off the 2016 PGTI season. A good field, a handsome prize purse of Rs. 60 lakhs and perfect course conditions promise an enthralling week of golf. The CIAL Cochin Masters provides us a great opportunity to further popularize the sport of golf in Kerala in partnership with the CIAL.”
Reigning champion Mukesh Kumar, said, “I’m delighted to be back in Kochi. I really like this course. The conditions are tougher than last year as the rough and trees on either side of the fairways have grown and will pose a serious challenge to the professionals. I feel my experience of winning here last year gives me an advantage and makes me a strong contender this week.”
The CIAL Golf Club (CGC) has been developed on 130 acres of rolling greens. CGC is designed to play to a length of over 7400 yards and is the only 18-hole golf course in Kerala. CGC is an eco-friendly all weather golf course that is comparable to the best. It is the first course in the country to offer an island green on the 18th hole for a very exciting and challenging round of golf.