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Asian Tour upset over European event

Jun 20, 2007 05:53 PM IST India India

New Delhi: The Asian Tour is upset over the European Tour's plan to stage a tournament for the first time in India without being jointly sanctioned by the Asian body.

Prominent Indian pro golfers, including players on board the PGTI believe staging a European Tour event would be a big boost for India, but admit they have so far been left in the dark. Both golf organisations are part of the International Federation of PGA Tours, and previous tournaments in Asian countries have been co-sanctioned by the European and Asian tours.

"There is a certain protocol that has to be maintained as we go into a different territory. Basically, you take the host tour into consideration and get invited by them to participate on their territory. So in this case, I believe that the European Tour has not sanctioned Asian Tours on the subject," says Ajay Gupta, Tour Commissioner of PGTI.

"Ethically speaking, they should have or should get PGTI involved in it. And I think they will, eventually. So I am very happy that they are here and totally in support of it. As long as PGTI is involved I am with it," top Indian golfer Jyoti Randhawa says.

So far, the Indian Open has been the only Asian tour sanctioned event the country has been hosting consistently.

And in spite of Asian Tour's sharp reaction, According to reports, the European Tour is not prepared to joint sanction or co-sanction events anymore and is looking at growing markets where players have been performing well.

"India has a golf history going back hundreds of years. It has some top golfers in the world, more so I think that any Asian country. And it also hjas a thriving economy. So you put all those things together and I think it's an exciting market," Mark Adams, Senior Vice President of IMG, says.

Clearly, the battle lines have been drawn between two of the biggest bodies in world golf and what remains to be seen is whether the tournament finally comes to India or becomes a victim to ugly politics.