India tour to host new European, Asian events in 2010

New Delhi: India will stage a new European and Asian Tour event next February, a senior Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) official said.

"In the next 10 days, we will announce a very big tri-sanctioned event (Europe, Asia and India) for February 2010," PGTI director Padamjit Sandhu told reporters.

"It will be a new sponsor, we just need to sign," he said, adding that the Asian Tour event would have a purse of USD 500,000.

India stages two Asian Tour events with the Indian Open now offering USD 1 million in prize money.

He clarified there was no word on the revival of the Indian Masters European Tour event. It was launched in 2008 but cancelled this year because of the global economic woes.

Sandhu expected India to stage two European Tour and upto four Asian Tour events in 2011.

Indian golf has benefitted from a growing player base and economy. The PGTI was launched three years ago as a players` body after a dispute with the marketing agency led to the collapse of the previous tour.

"In the last three years, whatever was conceptualised, we`ve been able to achieve," he said. "The prize money for the domestic season has grown by 250 percent since PGTI was formed.”

"This year we are going to close on 75 million rupees (USD 1.60 million)."

Indian golfers Jeev Milkha Singh, Arjun Atwal and Shivshankar Chowrasia were all winners on the European Tour.

Bureau Report