Gurgaon: The creme de la creme of Indian golf, including defending champion Himmat Rai and two-time winner Jyoti Randhawa, will vie for top honours when the sixth edition of the DLF Masters tees off at the DLF Golf and Country Club here on Thursday.
The tournament, jointly organised by the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) and DLF Group, will have a prize purse of 1 crore -- 95 lakhs for the individual category and five lakhs for team event.
Apart from Himmat and Randhawa (2007 and 2008 champion), the impressive field will also feature some of the biggest names of Indian professional golf including the likes of Ashok Kumar (2010 champion), Chiragh Kumar (2011 Rolex Rankings champion), Shamim Khan (current Rolex Rankings leader), SSP Chowrasia, Digvijay Singh, Mukesh Kumar, Rashid Khan, Harendra Gupta, Om Prakash Chouhan, Shankar Das, Vijay Kumar, Feroz Ali Moolah, Gaurav Ghei and Abhijit Singh Chadha to name a few.
The top foreign players who will participate in the November 1-4 event are Mithun Perera and Anura Rohana of Sri Lanka, Australia`s Kunal Bhasin and Md Zamal Hossain Moolah of Bangladesh.
The tournament`s unique format is another added attraction where professionals golfers will team up with amateurs to compete for the team championships on the last two days of the event.
Each team will have two professionals and one amateur and the team score is calculated by taking into account the two best scores out of three on a hole-by-hole basis.
Commenting on his expectations from the tournament,defending champion Himmat said: "I have been playing consistently in the recent past. I have had some good finishes but here I am looking forward to playing consistent golf over the next four days."
Two-time champion Randhawa said he is looking at the tournament to prepare himslef for next season`s Asian tour.
"I took some break this summer and worked on my fitness, form and game. But finally I am finding some form. It`s a good week to play because after this (tournament) I will be playing in Singapore and Hong Kong," he said.
"Next year I will be playing in the Asain tour events. I will try to qualify for the European tour through the co-sanctioned events of the Asian tour," Randhawa added.