6 Dark Horses & Outside Picks: McLeod Russel Tour Championship
Six outside picks who could sweep away the title and are trending in the right direction with their games:
Speaking to him in November at the CG Open, he said he’d been battling poor health and injuries all season long but he’d recovered well and was raring to go. Fast forward a couple of events and the Bengaluru lad is an outside pick for this week’s Tour championship. Udayan wants to get a win before the end of the season after he won multiple times in the 2015 season.
He is a good tee to green player and can take advantage of his good ball striking at the challeging layout of Royal Calcutta Golf club. He has tallyed three top 10 finishes in his last five events and his season best third finish came just two weeks ago at the IndianOilSERVO Masters in Shillong. Mane is upbeat about his game and don’t be surprised if he goes low this week against the strongest field of the season.
Abhijit Singh Chadha
Abhijit has only played in 9 events this season and has not missed a single cut. The golfer who practices at Chandigarh Golf club produced his season best finish of fifth at the recently concluded TATA Open in Jamshedpur. Speaking to him during the tournament, he said he was riding high on confidence and felt a great result was around the corner.
He is looking to have a strong 2017 with aspirations of regaining his Asian tour card so a strong end to the season here in Kolkata could set him up for a good 2017. The tall Golfer posseses an advantage off the tee and he has an edge over the field in terms of distance. He is a two time winner on the PGTI and has a full season of Asian tour experience under his belt.
With his game rounding up in form, I would not put winning this week past him.
The Delhi Golfer has been playing well off late and has got more comfortable on tour with every passing tournament. He has been playing for 7 weeks in a row and has built up a good amount of tournament exposure to make it count it this week. The long hitting golfer has been playing very well from tee to green and has posted some low rounds this year.
He wants to get a win before the end of the season and has his eyes on an Asian tour card next season. Success at home this week can be the perfect launchpad for him to go to the next level. Veer leads the emerging player of the year standings and is very capable of ticking the box of getting a win in his rookie season at this week’s tournament.
Veer has 4 top 10’s this season in 13 events and represented team India in South Africa earlier this year. He certainly has the game to go up against the likes of Jyoti, Jeev, Shiv and Chawrasia. He won the pre-qualifying stage of the Q-school earlier this year and loves the big stage.
Another rookie who has had a good start to life on the PGTI. He is second in the emerging player of the year standings and has shown good bursts of form throughout the season.
The former India no. 1 amateur posted a top 10 finish just last week at the TATA Open. He posseses an all round strong game and if he can get the putter working, a pole position is right in the pipeline. He has only missed two cuts through the year which is impressive for a rookie and finished a season best seventh at the PGTI Masters, earlier in October.
He won the final stage of the PGTI Q-school at the beginning of the year and will be hoping to draw on that experience of winning to get him over the line once again.
The Patna golfer is a top talent and it is only a matter of time before he gets that first win. Like the other young golfers, he wants to finish the year stong and will be raring to go come Round 1 of the McLeod Russel Tour Championship on Thursday.
Samarth’s season has been blighted by a wrist injury which continues to be a bother. Despite that, the spirited golfer has shown a lot of promise in the 10 events he has played. He has made 8 cuts this season with a season best finish of fifth coming last week at the TATA Open. He shot rounds of 7 under and 5 under in rounds 2 and 3 before finishing off with a solid 2 under par round.
His game is looking in good nick and he definitely owns a skillset to tame the Royal Clacutta Golf course this week. So assuming that he’ll go through the door at some point and get a win, it might as well happen this week as the promising golfer seems to have placed a strong finish to his season quite high on his priorities. He’ll have one eye on the emerging player of the year standings as he sits third on the list. A good week here will take care of that and can give him the confience to kick on in 2017.
The golfer also finished tied-8th at an Asian Development Tour event this year to achieve his first top 10 finish as a professional. Who knows, he might just be saving his best for the last week of the season!
Amardip Sinh Malik
The Golfer from Meerut is a seasoned pro on the PGTI and has a runner up finish to his name this season. He has played in 12 events this season, missing three cuts and posting four top 10 finishes with his season best second placed finish coming at the TAKE Solutions Classic in August.
Malik’s last win came in 2014 at the Noida Masters and has since racked up two second placed finishes. He has finished 2nd four times and will be itching to get his name on the top of the leaderboard on the Sunday of an event in the near future.
The talented Golfer posseses a strong tee to green game and if he can drop some putts this week, he can better his 12th placed finish at the Tour championship in 2013. Judging by his good season so far and his experience of trying to qualify on the Web.com tour in the US, he looks like he is ready to win and could be the top name come Sunday.Published 21 Dec 2016, 14:33 IST