Moscow: SSP Chawrasia, who is close to sealing his card for 2016 European Tour, will lead the Indian challenge at the M2M Russian Open, which tees off at the Skolkovo Golf Club here today.
Other Indians in the fray will be Jyoti Randhawa, Rahil Gangjee, Khalin Joshi and Gaganjeet Bhullar. Jeev Milkha Singh and Shiv Kapur have skipped the event, while Anirban Lahiri readies himself for the Web.com Final series in the US.
Chawrasia will be looking for a decent finish, having missed the cut in his last two starts in Denmark and Czech Republic. "I am feeling good about my game, it is just that I am making a couple of silly mistakes and it is costing me dearly," said Chawrasia.
"The European card is on my mind, but I know I should be able to make it." Randhawa and Bhullar are still trying to find their form and rhythm this season.
Joshi, who came close to finding a breakthrough on Asian Tour with his second place at Bangladesh Open, has been trying to keep playing with starts on Asian Development Tour. This will be his first ever European Tour event in Europe.
Meanwhile, Kazakhstan's 16-year-old Daulet Tuleubayev will become the first player from his country to play an European Tour event. The American-based youngster shares a coach with Brandt Snedeker and Davis Love III and has practiced alongside Matt Kuchar.
The European Tour has a long-held tradition of spreading the gospel of the game of golf in nations where little to no history of the sport exists. Kazakhstan has been one of the great success stories of Europe's top developmental tour, the Challenge Tour, having hosted the Kazakhstan Open -- an event which counts Italian Edoardo Molinari and England's Tommy Fleetwood as former champions -- in the city of Almaty for each of the last 10 years.
Tuleubayev has played in the Kazakhstan Open before, but despite experience playing alongside seasoned professionals, he still believes he will feel the nerves on the first tee at Skolkovo Golf Club.