The Avantha Masters will be played at a new venue and on a different date in 2013 when the fourth edition of the tournament is held from March 14-17 at the Greg Norman-designed Jaypee Greens Golf Course, in Greater Noida near Delhi, India.
The demanding 7,347 yards, par 72 Championship Course at Jaypee Greens Golf Course, which opened in 2000, is the only course in India designed by two-time Major Champion Norman.
Located approximately one hour from Delhi airport, the course features several water hazards and bunkering reminiscent of classic Melbourne sand belt courses.
Jaypee Greens GC takes over the staging of the Avantha Masters from DLF Golf and Country Club, which hosted the €1.8million event in 2010 (won by Andrew Dodt), 2011 (SSP Chowrasia) and 2012 (Jbe’ Kruger).
The tournament will again be co-sanctioned by The European and Asian Tours and will comprise an increased field of 156 players, with 61 provided by The European Tour, 61 by the Asian Tour, 28 by the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) and the final six allocated to sponsor’s invitations.
The onsite event execution will continue to be operated by IMG Reliance, which has successfully implemented the event for the previous three editions.
Gautam Thapar, Chairman and CEO of The Avantha Group, said: “Following three hugely successful stagings of the Avantha Masters, we are delighted to sponsor the tournament for the fourth successive year. As one of India’s biggest business conglomerates we are rightly proud to be associated with a professional golf tournament of this magnitude and stature, and we look forward to the next edition in March 2013 and the chance it provides to help grow the game across the country.”
Padamjit Sandhu, Director of the PGTI, said: “The Avantha Masters gives Indian golfers the best possible platform to test themselves against some of the world’s best golfers. Following the recent success of the likes of Jeev Milkha Singh, Gaganjeet Bhullar, Shiv Kapur, Jyoti Randhawa and SSP Chowrasia, the game of golf has never been more popular in India, and I have no doubt that the fourth edition of the Avantha Masters will again showcase India’s ability to stage a world-class tournament.”
Vidya Basarkod, President (Sales & Marketing) of Jaypee Greens, said: “We feel proud and privileged to be hosting the fourth edition of the Avantha Masters on our golf course, as we believe the tournament will help showcase our beautiful property to the watching world. In particular, the last three holes should help to provide a suitably dramatic finish, and everyone associated with the club is truly excited to see how some of the world’s best players fare over a course which we hope will provide a true test of their skills.”
Keith Waters, The European Tour’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “The success of both the Avantha Masters and its leading players is testament to golf’s popularity in India, an increasingly influential country in a sporting and business context. We should thank our co-sanctioning partners at the Asian Tour and the PGTI, as well as the title sponsors Avantha and the new host venue Jaypee Greens Golf Course, which we feel will provide a fitting stage for another top class tournament in March.”
Kyi Hla Han, Executive Chairman of the Asian Tour, said: “On behalf of our talented players, we look forward to returning to the Avantha Masters, which is one of the most prestigious events on the Asian Tour Schedule. Asian Tour members have done well at the Avantha Masters since its inaugural event in 2010, and we expect our players to continue their fine run in 2013.
“As the richest tournament in India, the Avantha Masters is regarded highly in Asia and I would like to express our fullest appreciation to our title sponsor Avantha for their wonderful contribution to the game. With our sanctioning partners PGTI and The European Tour, the Asian Tour will continue to play the lead role in developing professional golf at the highest level in the region.”
Defending champion Jbe’ Kruger said: “Winning your first European Tour event is always special, and I can’t wait to go back to India to defend my Avantha Masters title in March. It’s a great country with great people, and I’ve got some very fond memories of my victory in Delhi last year. I haven’t played Jaypee Greens but have heard great things about it, and if it’s anything like as good as last year’s, then we’re in for a real treat.”
Admission to the tournament, which has been moved back a month from its traditional February slot, will again be free of charge.