Gangjee echoes Shubhankar, backs OWGR points on PGTI

Rahil Gangjee
IANS|11-Mar-2019 18:05

Kolkata, March 11 : Two-time Asian Tour winner Rahil Gangjee, here on Monday, echoed Indian golfing ace Shubhankar Sharma and hailed the introduction of Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points on the PGTI.

"Having the OWGR points on the PGTI is important for us. It attracts all the top players. Even though it's a small event, having the OWGR points means our ranking points on other Tours also go up. That has worked for us," Gangjee said on the eve of the inaugural Bengal Open Golf Championship.

In January this year, PGTI aligned itself with the OWGR system to further develop the game and open doors for more Indian players to make an impact on the world stage. 

The introduction of world ranking points will also help in improving the fields at PGTI events as Indian Asian Tour regulars will have that extra incentive and motivation of playing on their home tour, felt the 39-year-old Gangjee.

Last month, Shubhankar also hailed the move, saying Indian golf had been on the rise for some time and the country's golfers had been constantly making a mark in Asia and Europe.

Meanwhile, Gangjee, one of the favourites to win the Bengal Open, which will also see Rashid Khan, SSP Chawrasia and young Viraj Madappa, among others, vying for top honours, has been on a comeback trail after ending a 14-year trophy drought by winning the Japan Tour title last year. 

   |Read more : " Rashid, Gangjee, Viraj to vie for top honours in 1st Bengal Open Golf "

He also bagged the Louis Philippe Cup to cap a good 2018. Gangjee had won his maiden Asian Tour title in China way back in 2004.

"2017 was not a good year. I was the last guy to make it to the Order of Merit in Asia. It was nerve-wracking. Having gone from there, had no expectations going into any event last year. But I ended up winning (Panasonic Open) that was mind blowing for me. I made everybody wait too long. 14 years is a long time to wait," he said.

"Two months later I won the Louis Philippe Cup, which was a surprise too. But considering I had won I thought I could get used to this." Gangjee said 2018, otherwise, was a learning curve and he hoped to make amends this year.

"The rest of the year was more of a learning year. It was not like I could really compete in Japan because I ended up playing in 18 new golf courses there. You know how it is to play in new golf courses. You always play catch up with guys who have played for years. 

"This year I hope to go back and make amends for the bad finishes last year," he said.

The 18-hole par-70 four-day Bengal open, which is PGTI's fourth event of the season, has a prize purse of Rs 30 lakh. The Pro Am event will be held on March 16.