Asian Tour stars set for battle at Avantha Masters

jeev-250New Delhi: Asian Tour’s leading players are set to reignite their battle with their rivals from the European Tour when the Avantha Masters tees off at the Jaypee Greens Golf Course next week.

The €1.8 million (approximately US$2.3 million) showpiece, which is the first event to be tri-sanctioned by the Asian Tour, European Tour and Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI), promises to pit the two continents’ best players against each other.

A stellar field that consist of no fewer than 38 Asian Tour winners including three Order of Merit champions is poised to make the Avantha Masters an intriguing contest as a host of Ryder Cup stars from the European Tour have also confirmed their participation.

Colin Montgomerie, the most prolific British winner in European Tour history, will make his first appearance at the Avantha Masters. He will be joined by Ryder Cup stars Ignacio Garrido of Spain, England’s David Howell, Italy’s Edoardo Molinari, Frenchman Thomas Levet and Welshman Philip Price.

Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee, local ace Jeev Milkha Singh and China’s Liang Wen-chong, all Order of Merit champions, will spearhead the Asian Tour challenge that includes notable names such as Singapore’s Mardan Mamat, American Berry Henson, Philippines Angelo Que, Malaysia’s Danny Chia, Thailand’s Chawalit Plaphol, who won the season-opening event in Myanmar, and India’s Anirban Lahiri, winner of the SAIL-SBI Open on Saturday.

Since making its debut in 2010, the Avantha Masters has witnessed the emergence of Australia’s Andrew Dodt who won the inaugural title, welcomed a home grown winner in S.S.P. Chowrasia, and seen the maiden breakthrough of South Africa’s Jbe Kruger of South Africa last year. All three are Asian Tour members.

The Asian Tour, which is celebrating its milestone 10th season in 2013, will also feature other top contenders including Thailand’s Arnond Vongvanij, Korean-American David Lipsky and Bangladesh’s Siddikur, the first Bangladeshi to win on the Asian Tour.

All eyes will also be on fast rising Mithun Perera of Sri Lanka, who secured his best-ever result by finishing second at the Asian Tour season-opening event in Myanmar last month. He will play in his first ever tri-sanctioned tournament and will be keen to sparkle against many stars of the game.

The home charge will be led by Singh, Asia’s number one in 2006 and 2008 as well as a host of multiple winners that include Chowrasia, Gaganjeet Bhullar and Lahiri, all multiple winners on Asia’s premier Tour.