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Holding Indian Masters is our prerogative, says IGU

June 13, 2007 20:27 IST

The Indian Golf Union on Wednesday moved to allay apprehensions with regard to a European Tour-sanctioned event to be held in the country without the participation of Asian Tour or the PGTI.

The European Tour on Monday announced that it sanctioned the US $2.5 million Indian Masters, to be held by the IGU in February next year. It sparked sharp reactions from the PGTI, the national body in charge of professional golf, and the Asian Tour.

The IGU, in a statement on Wednesday, said that as the apex body for golf in India it has the right to hold an event, and the European Tour is within its rights to sanction it without the participation of other Tours.

"The Indian Golf Union is the apex body of golf in India and is the only recognised body by other World Golf Associations," the IGU statement said.

"The European Tour approached us as and were clear from the beginning that they would be offering 20 invitations to Indian players who played in domestic events only.

"When informed that there is a players body, the PGTI, who were the ones responsible (for the administration of pro golf), they were happy to offer these invitations to them.

"The European Tour have indicated that they are not prepared to joint sanction or co-sanction events anymore and are looking at growing markets where players have been performing commendably and it is for this reason India has been added to their ever-growing list of events."

The IGU also pointed out that three other tournaments in Asia sanctioned exclusively by ET - in Doha, Bahrain, Dubai - did not offer special invitation to domestic players as is done for Indian Masters since "in these countries stars like Jeev Milkha Singh, Arjun Atwal, Jyoti Randhawa, have still not emerged".

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