Kolkata Challenge 2024 marks return of an international event to Kolkata after 25 years

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·         The Challenge Tour & TATA Steel PGTI co-sanctioned event to offer prize purse of US$ 300,000

·         Field to be highlighted by Indian stars Arjun Atwal, SSP Chawrasia, Gaganjeet Bhullar, Om Prakash Chouhan, Manu Gandas, Rashid Khan and Challenge Tour stars John Parry, Mikael Lindberg, Björn Åkesson, Martin Couvra, Lucas Bjerregaard

Kolkata, March 19, 2024: The European Challenge Tour, TATA Steel Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) and Royal Calcutta Golf Club (RCGC) jointly launched the inaugural Kolkata Challenge.

The tournament co-sanctioned by the Challenge Tour and the TATA Steel PGTI, carries a prize purse of US$ 300,000 and constitutes the second event in the two-week Indian swing of the Challenge Tour.

The event to be played at the historic RCGC in Kolkata from March 21–24, 2024, marks the return of an international event to Kolkata and the RCGC after a long gap of 25 years.

The Indian contingent will be led by legends Arjun Atwal and SSP Chawrasia, both playing at their home course. Interestingly, Arjun Atwal, a PGA Tour and three-time DP World Tour winner, won the last international event to be staged at RCGC, the 1999 Indian Open. Olympian SSP Chawrasia, a four-time DP World Tour winner, was the joint runner-up at the 1999 Indian Open.

The other Indian stars in the field include DP World Tour winner Gaganjeet Bhullar, Challenge Tour winner and 2023 TATA Steel PGTI Ranking champion Om Prakash Chouhan, current TATA Steel PGTI Ranking leader Manu Gandas, Rashid Khan, Olympian Udayan Mane, Yuvraj Singh Sandhu, Chikkarangappa and Karandeep Kochhar, to name a few.

The leading names from the Challenge Tour in the field include Road to Mallorca Ranking Number One John Parry of England, Mikael Lindberg and Björn Åkesson from Sweden, France’s Martin Couvra and Denmark’s Lucas Bjerregaard, to name a few.

Mr. Gaurav Ghosh, Captain, RCGC, said, “We are proud to host the Kolkata Challenge, an international event at RCGC, after 25 years. We welcome all the overseas and PGTI players.”

Jamie Hodges, Challenge Tour Director, said, “It’s great to be in Kolkata for the first time in the Challenge Tour’s history. After an outstanding week in Delhi, we’re delighted to be here for the second of back-to-back events in the country and to be working closely once again with our friends at the PGTI.

“The historic venue of Royal Calcutta Golf Club is the perfect setting for four days of competition between some of the best golfing talent from the PGTI and Europe.

“These events are crucial in the early part of our season, to ensure playing opportunities for our members at a time when it’s difficult for us to play in most of Europe. It’s going to be an exciting week.”

Mr. Uttam Singh Mundy, CEO, PGTI, said, “We thank the Challenge Tour and RCGC for partnering with us in launching the Kolkata Challenge. The excitement is palpable for golf fans in Kolkata as an international tournament returns to the sports-loving city and to the iconic RCGC, one of the traditional centres and nurseries of Indian golf, for the first time since 1999. We’re confident the event will go a long way in re-establishing RCGC as a major venue for international events.

“There will be a strong Indian presence with the PGTI’s top names as well as Indian greats Arjun Atwal and SSP Chawrasia being a part of the field. We look forward to seeing Indian players making an impact in this second leg of the lucrative two-week Indian swing of the Challenge Tour. We wish the players all the best.”

The world-renowned Royal Calcutta Golf Club (RCGC), affectionately known as the ‘Royal’, is steeped in history, as it is the oldest golf club outside of the British Isles, having been established in 1829. It is widely regarded as the founder of the game in the country and has staged some of the most prestigious tournaments on Indian soil, including the Indian Open and the All-India Amateur Championship. The 7014-yard course favours long hitters and inaccurate shots are punished severely. The large number of water hazards makes this course a real challenge to master.