Ashok Kumar and Shiv Kapur, arguably two of the greatest golfing talents on the Amby Valley PGAI Tour, arrive at the scenic town of Digboi in a bid to rewrite the record books.
The Indian Oil Servo Masters Golf 2004, which commences at the par-72 Digboi Club Golf Links on Wednesday, will offer Ashok a chance to win his sixth straight tournament on the Amby Valley PGAI Tour.
Ashok and 24 others will have the benefit of a practice round at the pro-am, which will tee off proceedings on Tuesday.
The eighth leg of the Amby Valley PGAI Tour, the Indian Oil Servo Masters Golf 2004 offers Rs One million in prize-money with the winner standing to benefit to the tune of Rs 1,62,000.
Ashok, who tallies Rs 9,52,000 in seven outings this season will also look to become the fastest ever in the history of the Amby Valley PGAI Tour to break the one million earnings barrier both in terms of time taken and events played.
Incidentally Ashok's average earnings per event this season stand at Rs 1,36,000.
Shiv Kapur, who has thrice in as many weeks finished second to Ashok on the Tour, will aim to break that jinx and grab his second Tour title in his debut season. Shiv's earnings in five appearances this season stand at Rs 5,44,800 for average earnings of Rs 1,08,960 per week.
The other interesting aspect is the number of under-par rounds that the two have totted up this season. Ashok Kumar, in 28 completed rounds of golf, has broken par on as many as 23 occasions. His last 15 rounds, beginning with the second round of the Hero Honda Open South in Bangalore in early September, have all been under-par. In keeping with this trend, Ashok stands a chance of pushing that figure to 19 this week. Shiv has 17 under-par rounds in 20 rounds.
Added to these two talents will be the presence of the one and only Mukesh Kumar. Mukesh is still as potent as he was when he won two Indian Oil Servo Masters titles in 2001 and 2002. The 38-year-old Mhow golfer proved a point when he shot a final round six-under 64 at the Tata Open in Jamshedpur last week to leapfrog into a third place finish.
Mukesh is currently ranked second on the Money List with earnings of Rs 5,92,100. While he might be a distant third on the weekly earnings list at Rs 84,586, Mukesh can easily create an upset this week.
In addition to the top three, the field for the event boasts of golfers like twice Indian Open winner ('91 & '93) Ali Sher; '98 Indian Open winner Feroz Ali; Asian PGA Tour regular and Indian World Cup team member Digvijay Singh; promising rookie, who won a professional event (Hero Golf Chandigarh Open 2004) while only an amateur last season, Harinder Gupta; longest driver of the golf ball in Asia Gurbaaz Mann; twice Honda Siel PGA Championship winner ('96 &'98) Uttam Singh Mundy; Rahul Ganapathy, the golfer who fired an Amby Valley PGAI Tour record individual round 12 under 60 at the Digboi Club Golf Links in 2002; and a number of other talented golfers like Rafiq Ai, Ranjit Singh and Naman Dawar to name a few.