Ryder Cup stars line up for the Avantha Masters
Greater Noida: The creme de la creme of European golf, including six Ryder Cup stars, would be in action when the fourth edition of the Avantha Masters tees off next week at the Jaypee Greens Golf Course here.
Ryder Cup stars Edoardo Molinari of Italy, Ignacio Garrido of Spain, England`s David Howell, Frenchman Thomas Levet, Scotland`s Colin Montgomerie and Welshman Philip Price would be there at the event tri-sanctioned by the European Tour, the Asian Tour and the PGTI.
Between them, the six have amassed a total of 31 points in the biennial contest, with Montgomerie contributing most to the European cause with 23.5 points won in eight appearances as a player.
Molinari played under Montgomerie`s captaincy in Wales in 2010, winning one point out of a possible three as Europe survived a final day fight back to defeat the Americans 14?-13?.
The two-time European Tour champion will be making his debut in the Avantha Masters.
"Part of the joy of playing golf for a living is travelling the world and experiencing new countries and different cultures, so I`m really looking forward to playing in the Avantha Masters for the first time next week," Molinari said.
"I have heard that golf is getting bigger in India all the time, so I`m excited about experiencing the atmosphere and hopefully I can give a good account of myself."
Molinari is one of 50 European Tour winners in the illustrious field, including one former European Number One in Montgomerie and four winners of the Asian Tour Order of Merit: namely Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee, the Indian duo of Jyoti Randhawa and Jeev Milkha Singh, and China's Liang Wenchong.
Randhawa and Jeev will lead the home challenge in Greater Noida, with Challenge Tour champions Gaganjeet Bhullar and Shiv Kapur and two-time European Tour champion SSP Chowrasia also vying to take home the lion's share of the euro 1.8 million prize fund.
Delhi's favourite son Daniel Chopra will also be return to his father's birthplace to tee up in the Avantha Masters for the first time.
The two-time US PGA Tour champion, who was born in Sweden but raised in India, will be bidding to capture his third professional title on 'home' soil, having won the Indian Masters and the Indian PGA Championship in 1994.
Held for the first time at the Greg Norman-designed Jaypee Greens GC, which at 7,347 yards is India's longest golf course, the Avantha Masters will offer free entry to all spectators.