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Tuesday, February 26, 2013 3:02:54 PM (IST)  

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Montgomerie to make Avantha Masters debut

Greater Noida, Feb 26 (IANS): Colin Montgomerie, the most prolific British winner in European Tour history, will make his first appearance in the 1.8 million euro Avantha Masters golf event being held here March 14-17.

The Scot, who captained Europe to Ryder Cup glory in 2010, has won 31 European Tour titles - two of them in Asia - in an illustrious career, and will now hope to add to his impressive tally when the fourth edition of the Avantha Masters is held at a new venue, Jaypee Greens Golf Course here.

Montgomerie's title ambitions at the Avantha Masters, which is tri-sanctioned by the Asian Tour, European Tour and the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI), will be put to test by a stellar field that includes three-time Asian Tour Order of Merit winner Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand, Singapore's Mardan Mamat, a three-time Asian Tour winner and Australia's Scott Hend.

The local charge will be led by Jeev Milkha Singh, Asia's No.1 in 2006 and 2008, as well as Anirban Lahiri and Gaganjeet Bhullar, who have a combined total of six Asian Tour victories.

Montgomerie said: "India is unquestionably one of the world's biggest growth areas for golf so I'm really looking forward to teeing up in the Avantha Masters. Having recently added a project in Goa to my golf course design portfolio, I hope to play my part in the development of the game in India.

"Whenever I have visited this fascinating country in the past, I have always found the people to be both very friendly and enthusiastic about golf. Hopefully, the crowds will come along to support the tournament and show that golf in India is enjoying a real popularity boom."

Montgomerie is the latest in a long line of European Tour champions to confirm their attendance in the Avantha Masters. The eight-time winner of Europe's Money List will be joined by England's Simon Dyson, Denmark's Soren Kjeldsen and Frenchman Thomas Levet, who between them have captured a total of 15 European Tour titles.



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