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Mastering Momentum: Pulkkanen’s Pursuit of Perfection in Kolkata

Tapio Pulkkanen

Tapio Pulkkanen is looking to turn his good form into a win when he tees it up in the Kolkata Challenge at Royal Calcutta Golf Club this week, the second of back-to-back Challenge Tour events co-sanctioned with the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI).

The Finn moved into contention at last week’s Delhi Challenge after firing a joint career-best ten under-par round of 62 on day three before eventually finishing tied for ninth, his highest finish of the year.

The 33-year-old finished as the Challenge Tour Number One back in 2017 to earn promotion to the DP World Tour, winning the Kazakhstan Open in the process.

He’s hoping that after narrowly missing out on retaining his card in 2023, a return to the winner’s circle in Kolkata could also spark a return to golf’s Global Tour. 

“If I go back to last season, I didn’t have any top ten finishes on the DP World Tour, so last week it was pleasing to do that,” he said.

“But really, after Saturday, I was there for a win and with a good last day I could’ve done that. I’ll try to do that this week.

“To be in the top 20 this year and get back to the DP World Tour is of course the number one goal.

“I’ve had three tournaments this season where I’ve been leading at some point which is a positive, so it’s just about trying to finalise the work this week and then kicking on for the full season ahead.”

Pulkkanen, who currently sits 30th on the Road to Mallorca Rankings after last week’s top ten finish, has been impressed with his first look at Royal Calcutta – the oldest club outside of Great Britain – and thinks it will pose a completely different test to the one in Delhi last week.

“This is a very nice golf course,” he added. “I would love to have this as my home course. It’s a little bit different to last week with some grain on the greens which makes it a bit more interesting.

“Last week it was mostly driving off the tee that was important, whereas this week there’s a lot of four irons and three irons off the tee, so more accuracy is required.”

Pulkkanen joins a strong field in Kolkata that includes PGA Tour winner Arjun Atwal, four-time DP World Tour winner SSP Chawrasia, and Road to Mallorca Number One John Parry.

Play gets underway on Thursday at 6:05 am local time, with Pulkkanen teeing off alongside Englishman Ashley Chesters and India’s Gaurav Pratap Singh.