Chowrasia eyes Panasonic Open glory

Indian star S.S.P. Chowrasia will return to the scene of his first Asian Tour victory as he prepares to challenge for the US$300,000 Panasonic Open India title next week.

Golf News: Chowrasia

The tricky Delhi Golf Club, known for its tree-lined fairways and challenging layout, has been a happy hunting ground for the local stars including Chowrasia, who finished third on the Asian Tour's Order of Merit last year.

Chowrasia claimed his maiden Asian Tour victory at the 2008 Indian Masters at the Delhi Golf Club before going on to win the Avantha Masters on home soil last year.  He will be hoping to ride on his impressive home track record at the Panasonic Open India, which will celebrate its second edition from March 29 to April 1, 2012.

"Playing at home is always a nice feeling as I've won twice here. I'm beginning to get my swing back and I'm happy with how my game is shaping up," said Chowrasia, who finished in tied 12th place in last year's inaugural edition.

With a 28.2 putting average per round statistic this season, Chowrasia is expected to be in the forefront to challenge for the title but will face a stern challenge from title holder and countryman Anirban Lahiri, David Lipsky of the United States, winner of the HANDA FALDO Cambodian Classic last week and Thai legend Thaworn Wiratchant.

The Panasonic Open India will also see Manav Jaini, who finished second last year after losing in the play-off to Lahiri, on a mission to make amends as he hunts for his first Asian Tour victory.

"Honestly, I had fond memories despite losing," said Jaini. "I haven't been hitting my iron shots as good as I want to, so I'll need to work on that. You can't always expect to hole long putts all the time," said the 28-year-old.

"You have to hit the ball straight at the Delhi Golf Club and make a lot of birdies. You need to shoot really low numbers to stand a chance at winning here. The competition on the Asian Tour is definitely tough," he added.

The worldwide appeal of the Asian Tour stars and the rich heritage associated with India will be showcased live throughout four days of the Panasonic Open India. Asian Tour Media will beam the event to over 200 countries and 650 million homes across the Live, Highlights, Magazine programmes and via the additional exposure generated by Golfing World.

Panasonic Open India is supporting The Golf Foundation to raise funds for the underprivileged through birdie counts. The foundation is a Registered Charitable Society of golfers who want to give back to the game by helping a pool of untapped talent.

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