Corporate amateurs to play in DLF Masters

Tournaments like the DLF Masters, gives corporate amateurs the chance to tee off with the pros.

updated: May 13, 2007 14:45 IST
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New Delhi:

Tournaments like the DLF Masters, gives corporate amateurs the chance to tee off with the pros.

So who is Gaurav Ghei putting his money on for the inaugural DLF Masters? Probably himself after his win at the Beijing Open. The 38-year old is just one of the 120 golfers participating in the Rs 65 lakh DLF Masters tournament.

The snazzy Arnold Palmer designed lush green course though isn't the only highlight.

The most unique aspect of this tournament is that it makes an effort to blend professional golf with amateur. That's why the rules of the game are also a little different. The top 50 pros who make the cut, will play with an amateur partner over the weekend.

The amateur field will comprise the country's top corporate golfers. While the professional score will be calculated according to the stroke play format, the amateurs can also win prizes.

This format is followed at the AT&T Pebble beach Pro-am and Dunhill Links Championships.

"I think it'll be fun. A lot of the amateurs ask us what were you thinking when you were coming down the final round, how did you react," said Ghei.

"It'll be a good opportunity for them to be up close and see how they play the pressure of the last few holes. We could only see it from the ropes, here they're going to be right there with us, and hopefully they can learn something," he said.

Jyoti Randhawa, meanwhile, hopes he's learnt enough to get a USPGA Tour card next season. The 35-year-old, who has had a good European season so far, is back home chilling out before heading back.

And while on the break Jyoti is planning to play this tournament as well. In fact he is one of the few participating golfers, who's played in this format.

And no wonder then that he thinks tournaments like this one, will only help improve Indian golf.

"There were pros when we were amateurs, but the pros were not very good at that time. Now the scores are better, golf courses are better, facilities are better, and prize money is better," said Randhawa.

"We have reached a certain level, these guys have to push it further, that's how a nation develops as far as sport is concerned," he added.

The inclusion of ten foreigners will only raise the level of the competition, making sure it's an even contest.