Increased purse and strongest-ever field at the Avantha Masters

• Increased prize fund of €1.8 million
• Seven of the last 10 Asian Tour OOM winners to tee up at Avantha Masters
• Field includes 13 players who have won 19 international titles in India
• Four Ryder Cup players to tee up

Online PR News – 17-February-2011 – – Increased purse and strongest-ever field at the Avantha Masters

• Increased prize fund of €1.8 million
• Seven of the last 10 Asian Tour OOM winners to tee up at Avantha Masters
• Field includes 13 players who have won 19 international titles in India
• Four Ryder Cup players to tee up

Gurgaon, Feb 16: Golf’s biggest extravaganza in India returns to the centrestage as the second edition of Avantha Masters tees off at the DLF Golf and Country Club on Thursday, with the finals scheduled on 20th February. Currently, the only event in India to be co-sanctioned by the European Tour, the Asian Tour and Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI), the Avantha Masters boasts an increased prize fund of €1.8 million, a significant 20 per cent rise on last year’s total.
The enhanced prize purse and a very strong field is part of a five-year strategy to make the Avantha Masters one of the strongest events on The European Tour International Schedule. The Avantha Masters also cements golf’s reputation as the fastest-growing sport in the country.
Indian golfers have already earned the reputation of being very strong on their home turf, as time and again they have won major international events at home and a good number have finished close to the top.
The field at the event has all the top four career money earners on the Asian Tour, who between them have won the Asian Tour Order of Merit seven out of the last 10 times. The field also includes 13 players who between them have won 19 titles in India and four Europeans who have played on Ryder Cup teams.
“Increasing the prize purse means more incentive and a greater competition among all players to achieve glory. Our endeavour over the years is to make the Avantha Masters one of the strongest landmark professional golf events in the region,” said Mr Yogesh Agarwal, COO of Avantha’s flagship company, BILT, and a key member of the Avantha Leadership Team.
Leading the Indian challenge in 2011 is Jeev Milkha Singh, quite easily the most recognizable golfing face from India, whose global reputation is huge, having won on Asian, European and Japan Tours. The three-time European champion is, however, yet to win in his home country, a record he is very keen to set right. This time, as he slowly moves into his rhythm, he will be hoping to dethrone the defending champion Andrew Dodt of Australia and pick up a European Tour title in his own country.
“It is great that we have a European Tour event in India, and it would be a huge honour to win in front of my own people,” said Jeev Milkha Singh. “Indian golf has become very strong, and we have a very good crop of youngsters who can challenge on any tour on their day.”
Richard Hills, Ryder Cup Director representing The European Tour in India this week, said, “The European Tour is delighted to return to India for the second edition of the Avantha Masters. We hope that we can continue to strengthen our partnerships in India with the PGTI and Mr. Gautham Thapar, as well as Kyi Hla Han and his team at the Asian Tour, to help the continuing growth of the professional game in this exciting territory.
“Indian golf has never been in such a strong position. The PGTI is now a well respected domestic Tour around the world, while the global successes of players such as Jeev Milkha Singh and SSP Chowrasia on The European Tour, coupled with Arjun Atwal and Shiv Kapur on the US PGA and Asian Tours, provide irrefutable evidence that Indian golfers can compete and succeed on the world stage,” he added.
“As the richest tournament in India, the Avantha Masters truly holds a special place on the Asian Tour Schedule. Through our strong partnership with the PGTI and European Tour, I have every belief the Avantha Masters will continue to reflect magnificently on India’s rising stature in the game,” said Kyi Hla Han, Executive Chairman of the Asian Tour.
“Indian golfers have carved a place for themselves on Asian and European platform, besides winning on other Tours including the PGA Tour. Events like the Avantha Masters showcase the level Indian golf has achieved in the last few years,” said Mr. Padamjit Singh Sandhu, Director, PGTI.
The field will also see other leading Indians SSP Chowrasia, winner of the European Tour event Emaar Masters in 2008, Jyoti Randhawa, former Asian Tour Order of Merit winner, who has won a record five Asian Tour titles in India, and Shiv Kapur, former Volvo Masters of Asia champion.
Also present will be Gaganjeet Bhullar, who last month won the first-ever European Challenge Tour event in India at Gujarat Kensville Challenge. He grabbed a hat-trick of titles as he added two more in Dhaka and Kolkata, both of which feature on the Aircel Indian PGTI Tour.
“It was my second hat-trick and I am keen on drawing from that positive feeling,” said Bhullar, who is still a month short of becoming 22, but has already won two times on Asian Tour and once on European Challenge. He has eight other wins on Indian PGTI Tour.
The international starcast includes Ryder Cup players Paul Broadhurst and David Howell of England, Søren Hansen of Denmark and Irishman Paul McGinley, as well as a trio of Thai stars, Thongchai Jaidee, Thaworn Wiratchant and Chapchai Nirat, all of whom have tasted success on Indian courses.
Andrew Dodt, who won his maiden professional title at the Avantha Masters, says he cannot wait to return to the DLF Golf and Country Club as he attempts to spark memories of his career-changing victory last year. The Australian emerged the victor with a brilliant birdie on the 72nd hole to take the title by a single stroke.
“I’m really looking forward to getting back and defending my title,” said Dodt. “That is something that I have never done before so it is quite exciting, and I am hoping that the memories from last year can spur me on because things haven’t gone too well since then.
“It was such a big moment for me in my career to win in India last year, and even though I haven’t really kicked on it gave me some great opportunities, so hopefully I can contend again and have another chance to win.”

About Avantha:
The US$ 4 bn Avantha Group is one of India’s leading business conglomerates. Its successful entities include BILT, Crompton Greaves, The Global Green Company, Avantha Power & Infrastructure, Solaris ChemTech Industries, Biltech Building Elements, Salient Business Solutions, and Avantha Technologies.

With an impressive global footprint, Avantha operates in over ten countries, employing 20,000 people worldwide. The Group has business interests in diverse areas including power transmission and distribution equipment and services, paper and pulp, energy and infrastructure, food processing, farm forestry, chemicals, IT and ITeS. Led by Gautam Thapar, Avantha demonstrates strong leadership globally and emerges as a focused corporate, leveraging its knowledge, leadership and operations, adding lasting value for its stakeholders and investors.

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