Bengaluru: One of the most awaited golfing extravaganzas of the year, the Louis Philippe Cup, returns to the city for the second consecutive year for its fifth edition.
The sport, which has been included for the upcoming Rio Olympics, and has been growing in the country will see eight teams instead of the previous seven vying for the trophy in the Rs. 1.2 crores event.
The league-based tournament will see some of the country’s top golfers like SSP Chawrasia, Rahil Gangjee, Gaganjeet Bhullar in action. There will be a healthy dose of local flavour as well with several city-based golfers in the fray but not necessarily with the home team.
The teams for this year’s edition include Laqshya Mumbai, Take Chennai, Zion Hills Bengaluru, DLF Crest Gurgaon, Jaypee Greens Greater Noida, NSports Hyderabad, Navratna Ahmedabad and Dev Chandigarh. The Hyderabad team are the new entrants, while Chandigarh makes a comeback after two years.
Each team will comprise three players, which includes one sponsor pick and the other two will be from the top 16 players in the previous year’s Order of Merit.
Ahmedabad, who have been the strongest contenders of the league, picking up the trophy three out of four times will tee-off as favourites. Returning to the KGA, which is a happy hunting ground for the defending champions, Mithun Perera will lead the charge along with Anura Rohana and Shankar Das.
Perera, who had led the team to a thrilling finish in the previous edition to upset Chennai who were within touching distance of the title will look for a repeat show.
Meanwhile, Chennai, with same team as the previous edition, will start as the strongest, at least on paper. Led by Rio-bound Chawrasia, along with local favourite S Chikkarangappa and Khalin Joshi, the Chennai team will look to avenge last year’s upset.
Local lad Chikka said, “Last year we played well, but Ahmedabad stole it. We have retained the same team this year and all of us are looking good.” The Bengaluru team, led by the seasoned Rahil Gangjee, who has shifted base to the city, will hope to give the home crowd something to cheer about as they look to win the elusive cup. The home team will be boosted by the presence of local boy M. Dharma and Abhijit Chadha.
Talking about the team’s chances Gangjee said, “Very good actually. I am hoping Dharma, he will play his best, I’m hoping I will play my best. Having said that there are a few players who like this course and I just hope we win. Abhijit is one of the longest hitters on the PGTI Tour.”
Teams: Navratna Ahmedabad: Mithun Perera, Anura Rohana, Shankar Das; Take Chennai: SSP Chawrasia, Khalin Joshi, S Chikkarangappa; Zion Hills Bengaluru: Rahil Gangjee, M Dharma, Abhijit Chadha; Laqshya Mumbai: Mukesh Kumar, Chiragh Kumar, Abhinav Lohan; DLF Crest Gurgaon: Ashok Kumar, Subhankar Sharma, Manu Gandas; Jaypee Greens Greater Noida: Shamim Khan, Udayan Mane, Mandeo Singh Pathania; NSports Hyderabad: Gaganjeet Bhullar, Ajeetesh Sandhu, Om Prakash Chouhan
Dev Chandigarh: Himmat Rai, Sujjan Singh, Amardip Malik.