Bengaluru, Mar 21 (IANS): Top Indian players like Olympian Udayan Mane, Khalin Joshi, Sachin Baisoya, Yuvraj Singh Sandhu and some next-generation golfing stars from abroad will be in action in the inaugural Duncan Taylor Black Bull Challenge golf tournament to be held here from March 23-26.
The tournament co-sanctioned by the Challenge Tour and the TATA Steel PGTI carries a prize purse of US$ 300,000 and will be played at the pristine Karnataka Golf Association (KGA) golf course here.
The Duncan Taylor Black Bull Challenge is the first event to be jointly staged by the Challenge Tour and the PGTI following the announcement of the strategic partnership between the DP World Tour and the PGTI earlier this year.
The leading Indian players in the field include former PGTI Order of Merit champions Udayan Mane (Olympian) and Khalin Joshi, and current PGTI Order of Merit leader Sachin Baisoya, Yuvraj Singh Sandhu and Aman Raj, to name a few.
The Challenge Tour is where the next generation of golfing stars find their feet and players including Irishman John Murphy, Frenchman Ugo Coussaud and Italian Matteo Manassero, the youngest winner in DP World Tour history, will tee it up in India this week.
Black Bull Scotch Whisky is the lead sponsor of the tournament's Pro-Am which will be played on Wednesday. The Pro-Am event will see Black Bull Brand Ambassador, Sir Nick Faldo, lead the sponsor team.
Euan Shand, Chairman, Duncan Taylor, said, "Together with Sir Nick Faldo, we've handpicked some of the best whiskies within our archives and blended them meticulously to create four stunning blends that are worthy of celebrating some of the iconic times in his life, and what better way to launch these," he said.
Speaking at the press conference, golf legend and six-time Major winner Sir Nick Faldo, said, "The most important thing is to give golfers an opportunity to compete. Then it's down to the professional to prove himself. The partnership between the DP World Tour and the PGTI provides a great opportunity for Indian professionals to compete on the DP World Tour and at Challenge Tour events. It provides a path for them. So I see this alliance as a big step forward for Indian professional golf.
"I've been following Indian golf for a long time. The country has produced some outstanding golfing talent such as the likes of Jeev Milkha Singh and Anirban Lahiri. But I feel India can produce many more champion golfers through opportunities provided by events such as these. Golf has a longer lifespan than many other sports, you can survive 30 years in golf. So a lot of Indian golfers, if they're good enough, can make a career out of it," he said.
"I'm really looking forward to playing the Pro-Am at the KGA tomorrow. I haven't played here before but the course looks in excellent shape and the weather is just perfect for golf."
Uttam Singh Mundy, CEO, PGTI, said, "We are delighted to welcome the Challenge Tour back in India as part of our strategic partnership with the DP World Tour. The inaugural Duncan Taylor Black Bull Challenge has been a highly anticipated event as it will mark the return of the PGTI to the magnificent KGA after a long gap and will be witness to an exciting contest as the leading golfing talents from the Challenge Tour and the PGTI go head to head."