Strong Indian presence in EMAAR-MGF Indian Masters

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Dubai, Dec 16 (UNI) There will be a strong presence of home-grown players, led by Jeev Milkha Singh, when the first European Tour EMAAR-MGF Indian Masters event ever played in India gets under way at the Delhi Golf Club from February 7 to 10 next year.

Some of World's top players including Ernie Els Mark O'Meara, Lee Westwood, Thomas Bjorn, Colin Montgomerie and Ross Bain are expected to take part in the event.

The Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) and 'golf in DUBAI' -- the promoters and organizers of the 2.5 million dollar event -- announced here today that a minimum of 25 spots will be allocated for Indian players in the 120-strong field.

Of the 120 players, eight spots have been reserved for sponsors, two for amateurs and the remaining 110 places have been divided equally between the European Tour and Asian Tour players -- that is 55 players for each tour.

The 55 Asian Tour players will include a minimum of 25 Indian players as the EMAAR-MGF Indian Masters will bring the European Tour, the Asian Tour and the PGTI together in this tri-sanctioned event -- the richest ever to held in India.

''It (the EMAAR-MGF Indian Masters) is the birth of what we are both optimistic will become an Indian tradition,'' stated Mohammed Juma Buamaim, vice-chairman and CEO of golf in DUBAI, while addressing the media alongside Gautam Thapar, president of PGTI.

When asked is there any possibility of Tiger Woods featuring in the event in the near future since the world number enjoys a good relationship with golf in DUBAI and is a regular to Dubai, Buamaim said, ''Well, we can't say anything at this moment. May be we will discuss that possibility when the European Tour announces the 2009 schedule.'' Talking about PGTI, Thapar said the tour will comprise 24 events in next year, boasting a prize fund of a couple of million dollars.

''The membership of the PGTI, he said, has crossed the 300 mark and another 150 applications are pending,'' he said.

''The tour is going stronger every year and the EMAAR-MGF Indian Masters will be a great opportunity for players to leave their imprints on a bigger stage.'' UNI

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