The European Tour is in India this week for the Avantha Masters at DLF Golf and Country Club in New Delhi. Andrew Dodt defends the title and a strong field has assembled to compete for an increased prize fund.
The purse has been raised by 20% for this year’s Avantha Masters with €1,800,000 up for grabs and €300,000 set to go to the winner.
The tournament is sanctioned by three tours – the European Tour, the Asian Tour and the Professional Golf Tour of India. Golf’s popularity is booming in India and it’s currently the fastest growing sport in the country.
Home player Jeev Milkha Singh will be a favourite with the fans and he is keen to make an impact this week.
“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,” he said.
The tournament is also a great chance for players from the Indian circuit to test themselves against some of the best golfers in the world. Gaganjeet Bhullar has won his last three tournaments and is hoping to continue that run on a bigger stage this week.
“I am currently on a winning streak so there is a lot of positive energy around me, and that helps me come through even in tough situations,” said Bhullar.
The championship course at the DLF Golf & Country Club was designed by Arnold Palmer. It’s a garden-style layout with lush, rolling fairways, water hazards and many varieties of plants and shrubs surrounding the holes.
Last season Andrew Dodt of Australia captured his maiden European Tour title in this event. He fired a final round of 68 to finish one shot clear of England’s Richard Finch.
Venue: DLF Golf and Country Club, New Delhi, India
Date: Feb 17-20
Course stats: par 72, 7,156 yards
Purse: €1,800,000 Winner: €300,000
Defending Champion: Andrew Dodt (-14)
Thursday 17 – Live on Sky Sports 1 from 8am
Friday 18 – Live on Sky Sports 1 from 8am
Saturday 19 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 6.30am
Sunday 20 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 6.30am
Thongchai Jaidee – He’s a specialist when the Tour visits Asia. He returned some solid, if unspectacular, performances through the circuit’s “Desert Swing,” but look out for him to up his game this week.
Rafael Cabrera-Bello – The Spaniard has been on excellent form over the past month, finishing seventh in Abu Dhabi and third in Qatar. He’ll be looking to land a second career European Tour victory this week.
Brett Rumford – The Australian started promisingly in Dubai last week but fell away somewhat over the weekend. If he can string four decent rounds together, he could put himself in the mix.
Key hole: 18th. A par 5 of 537 yards, this is a classic risk and reward finishing hole. Water short of the green means a decision must be made as to whether it’s possible to go for it in two shots. The hole has the potential to witness eagles and double bogeys so there could be swings at the top of the leaderboard right at the death.
Skills required: Putting. The course features some severely sloping greens and a deft touch will be essential to success here. Andrew Dodt and Richard Finch, 1st and 2nd in this event last year, both ranked in the top 10 for putts per greens found in regulation.
Competitions: Win the ultimate golfing year