Viraj excited as PGTI is set for the fairways again | Golf News

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KOLKATA: The Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) will resume next month after a seven-month hiatus owing to the Covid-19 pandemic and, like most golfers on the circuit, Kolkata professional Viraj Madappa chomping at the bit for the action to restart.
“I feel very excited. I am looking forward to playing in a tournament and resume my normal life…as normal as it can be. As professional golfers, we are not used to not playing for six to seven months. The last couple of weeks there has been a spring in my step during practice as now there is something to look forward to,” Madappa told over the phone from Bengaluru, where he has been training under Tarun Sardesai since last month.
It is never easy to make a comeback after such a long break and there are obviously certain concerns on Madappa’s mind.
“I have made a few changes physically as well as with the golf swing. I am still a little nervous as it is not easy to predict how things will go,” he said, adding, “There are also a lot of restrictions and rules that we need to adhere to. I got my Covid test done just about an hour back and I am also a bit nervous about the result. I have also decided not to take a caddie for at least the first three events. That will surely be different among many other things. I have been carrying my bag post lockdown, so it should not be a problem.”
The first event upon resumption is the PGTI Players Championship at Panchkula and Chandigarh Golf Clubs from November 4 to 7. In the opening round, half the field will play at Panchkula while the other half will be at Chandigarh. They will switch courses the following day before the final two days are played at Panchkula.
The event immediately following that – from November 9 to 12 – will follow the same format apart from the fact that the final two rounds will be at Chandigarh.
The 22-year old, who last played at the Bengal Open in March which was incidentally also the last event on the PGTI before the pandemic, will play two practice rounds in Panchkula and one in Chandigarh.
“That will be 11 rounds of golf in under two weeks. It will be a test of endurance. The two courses are quite different and I haven’t played at Panchkula in almost a decade,” said Madappa. “The good thing for me is that I have been practising here for the last five weeks and we have been able to have two four-day events amongst us. It’s not the same as a tournament but it creates some sort of a tournament atmosphere. I also got the opportunity to practice with the likes of Khalin Joshi, C Muniyappa and Trishul Chinnappa here and SSP Chawrasia and Rahil Gangjee in Kolkata. I feel good and hoping for the best.”

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