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regular-article-logo Friday, 23 February 2024

SSP Chawrasia Invitational 2023: On home turf, Rahil Gangjee plays through pain

While Om Prakash posted a 69, Gangjee signed for a 70 as players enjoyed the balmy weather in overcast conditions

Our Bureau Calcutta Published 09.12.23, 07:20 AM
Rahil Gangjee hits from the first tee during the second round of the SSP Chawrasia Invitational 2023 at RCGC on Friday.

Rahil Gangjee hits from the first tee during the second round of the SSP Chawrasia Invitational 2023 at RCGC on Friday. Picture courtesy: PGTI

Tata Steel PGTI Ranking leader Om Prakash Chouhan and Rahil Gangjee, who is playing on his home turf, finished as joint clubhouse leaders with a total of five-under 139 at the end of Day II on Friday of the SSP Chawrasia Invitational 2023 presented by TAKE Sports being played at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club.

While Om Prakash posted a 69, Gangjee signed for a 70 as players enjoyed the balmy weather in overcast conditions. Rain, however, stayed away and there were no interruptions during play.

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Earlier in the day, Round I, which was interrupted by rain twice on Thursday, resumed at 6.45am. The first round ended with Gangjee being the leader at 69, while Chouhan was second at 70.

Round II got underway at 8.35am. Out of a total of 122 players, only 59 could complete the round on Friday as play was suspended due to fading light at 4.55pm. Round II will now resume at 6.30am on Saturday.

OP, as Om Prakash is popularly known, said: “Yesterday (Thursday) it was quite wet and windy so one had to play conservatively. Today (Friday) it’s been clear so overall the conditions were easier.”

Gangjee (69-70), originally from Calcutta but now settled in Bangalore, was on song on the back nine in Round II as he collected four birdies between the 13th and 17th, two being a result of long conversions. Then hampered by some discomfort in his right calf muscle, Gangjee had a contrasting front-nine where he dropped two bogeys.

Gangjee said: “I was feeling good on the back nine with that run of birdies but a niggling pain in my right calf just got worse as I walked and it got pretty bad after I completed nine holes. Therefore, I was quite distracted and not flowing properly from there on and as a result, I did not have a good front nine.”

Syed Saqib Ahmed (74-67) was third in the clubhouse at a total of three-under 141.

Among those out on the course with unfinished second rounds, Divyanshu Bajaj and Abhinav Lohan were at a total of one-under through 12 holes while defending champion Manu Gandas was at a total of even-par through nine holes.

Tournament host SSP Chawrasia was at a total of five-over through nine holes.

Rahm joins LIV, deals blow to PGA

Toronto: Masters champion Jon Rahm jumped from the PGA Tour to Saudi-backed LIV Golf on Thursday in a big-money move that has sent another shockwave through the sport.

The 29-year-old becomes the biggest name to sign on with the rebel circuit funded by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF) since Australian Cameron Smith joined after winning the 2022 British Open.

"I am proud to join LIV Golf and be part of something new that is bringing growth to the sport,” said Rahm, in a statement from LIV Golf. “I have no doubt that this is a great opportunity for me and am very excited.”

One of golf's most popular and charismatic figures, Rahm's departure will be seen as another massive blow to the PGA Tour.

Media reports said the world No. 3 will be paid at least $300 million with some outlets putting the guarantee at closer to $600 million.

Reuters

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