PGA European - Avantha Masters Preview
From The Sports Network

DATES: Thursday, February 16th through Sunday, February 19th
SITE: DLF Golf & Country Club, New Delhi, India
COURSE ARCHITECT: Arnold Palmer (1999)
PAR: 72
YARDAGE: 7,156
Hole-by-Hole1 - Par 4 367 Yds
2 - Par 4 443 Yds
3 - Par 3 178 Yds
4 - Par 4 422 Yds
5 - Par 4 486 Yds
6 - Par 5 538 Yds
7 - Par 4 407 Yds
8 - Par 3 171 Yds
9 - Par 5 568 Yds
36 3,580 Yds
10 - Par 4 405 Yds
11 - Par 3 182 Yds
12 - Par 4 485 Yds
13 - Par 4 483 Yds
14 - Par 5 565 Yds
15 - Par 4 374 Yds
16 - Par 3 187 Yds
17 - Par 4 358 Yds
18 - Par 5 537 Yds
36 3,576 Yds
Annual:  4th
Television:  Golf Channel - Thursday/Sunday -- 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (et) - taped
Defending Champion:  S.S.P. Chowrasia
Runner-Up:  Robert Coles
Tournament Record:  273 (S.S.P. Chowrasia, 2011)
54-Hole Record:  204 (Robert Coles, 2011)
36-Hole Record:  133 (Yih-Shin Chan, 2010)
Course Record:  62 (Tetsuji Hiratsuka, 2010)
Total Purse:  $2,361,126 (1,800,000 euros)
Shares:  1st Place - $393,521; 2nd Place - $262,345; 3rd Place - $147,805
2011 Finish
S.S.P. Chowrasia273Sujjan Singh277
Robert Coles274Mark F. Haastrup278
Gregory Havret275Chinnarat Phadungsil278
Robert-Jan Derksen276Angelo Que279
Pablo Larrazabal277Shiv Kapur279
Past Avantha Masters Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2011S.S.P. Chowrasia (273) -- Robert Coles
2010Andrew Dodt (274) -- Richard Finch
2009Not Held
2008S.S.P. Chowrasia (279) -- Damien McGrane
NOTE:Formerly called EMAAR-MGF Indian Masters (2008).

Top Contenders in the Field
S.S.P. ChowrasiamcWon
Robert Coles---2nd
Gregory HavretT-443rd
Jeev Milkha SinghmcT-11
Joost LuitenT-35T-16
Thongchai Jaidee---T-22
David HowellT-57T-36
Andrew DodtWonT-45
Richard Finch2ndT-45
Tetsuji HiratsukaT-3T-57
Rhys DaviesT-35---
John Daly------
Jamie Donaldson------
Todd Hamilton------
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Marcel Siem
Darkhorse - Scott Jamieson
Last Week's Pick to Win (Rory McIlroy) - Finished tied for 5th
Last Week's Darkhorse (Jean n-Baptiste Gonnet) - Missed the cut
The European Tour travels to India this week for the Avantha Masters. Americans John Daly and Todd Hamilton are in the field. Daly is a two-time major champion (1991 PGA Championship and 1995 British Open) and Hamilton captured the 2004 British Open. Daly finished fourth at the Commercialbank Qatar Masters two weeks ago for his first top-five finish since the 2009 BMW Italian Open. They are joined in the field by former European Ryder Cup players Paul McGinley, David Howell, Soren Hansen and Oliver Wilson.

The highest-ranked player in the field is world No. 69 Joost Luiten from the Netherlands. Luiten, Jamie Donaldson of Wales (91) and Gregory Havret of France (93) are the only top-100 players in the field. This event is tri- sanctioned between the European Tour, the Asian Tour and Professional Golf Tour of India.

The tournament will be held at DLF Golf & Country Club for the third straight year. The course also hosted the 2008 Johnnie Walker Classic, won by Mark Brown of New Zealand. DLF Golf & Country Club was designed by golf legend Arnold Palmer and opened in 1999.

Last year, S.S.P. Chowrasia shot a five-under 67 in the final round to win by a single stroke over Robert Coles. Coles had a chance to push the tournament to a playoff, but bogeyed the par-five 18th to allow Chowrasia to win this event for the second time. He won the inaugural tournament in 2008. Chowrasia finished at 15-under 273 for the week.

In 2010, Andrew Dodt closed with a four-under 68 in the final round to earn his first European Tour title. Dodt finished at 14-under-par 274 to win by a single stroke over Richard Finch.

The 2010 event made European Tour history when seven players (Richard Bland, Fredrik Andersson Hed, Rahil Gangjee, Tetsuji Hiratsuka, Darren Beck, Barry Lane, Yih-Shin Chan) were tied for the lead going into the final round. The previous record was six at the 2003 Canaries Open de Espana and 2004 Aa St Omer Open.

Three players from India have won on the European Tour - Arjun Atwal, Chowrasia and Jeev Milkha Singh. Atwal was the first Indian player to win at the 2002 Singapore Masters. Chowrasia and Singh are in the field this week.

This will be the fifth European Tour event staged in India. The 2008 Emaar- MGF Indian Masters was held at Delhi Golf Club and was won by Chowrasia; Brown captured the 2008 Johnnie Walker Classic; Dodt won this tournament in 2010, while Chowrasia captured the title last year.

The European Tour heads to the United States next week for the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship in Arizona, where 2011 European Tour Player of the Year and world No. 1 Luke Donald of England will defend his title.

02/14 17:49:21 ET

As of February 14, 2012, at 05:49 PM ET
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