Edoardo Molinari is one of six players with Ryder Cup pedigree competing in the fourth edition of the Avantha Masters next week.
The Italian will be joined at Jaypee Greens Golf Course by his fellow former Ryder Cup stars Ignacio Garrido of Spain, England’s David Howell, Frenchman Thomas Levet, Scotland’s Colin Montgomerie and Welshman Philip Price.
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 14½-13½.
The two-time European Tour champion will be making his debut in the Avantha Masters, which will be tri-sanctioned by The European Tour, the Asian Tour and the Professional Golf Tour of India.
He said: “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.
“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 Singh 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 €1.8million 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.