European Tour Reports
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32-year old Indian wins Avantha Masters – Tour now off to US and Sicily, Italy
Monthly Special: Donnafugata Golf Resort and Spa
Golf is the fastest growing sport in India nowadays, and SSP Chowrasia’s win at the Avantha Masters will only contribute to this popularity. The 32-year old Indian won the tournament of the European Tour in Delhi with a final score of -15, beating Englishman Robert Coles, his main competitor, at -14. US Open Championship runner-up Frenchman Grégory Havret claimed third on 13 under with a closing 68, and first round leader Robert-Jan Derksen (The Netherlands) fourth following a 69.
Chowrasia got off to a flying start with seven birdies on his first 14 hole; an incredible long putt on the 8th hole confirmed his reputation of being an excellent chipper and putter. This birdie put Chowrasia in the leader position, which he kept until his finish of -15 at the 18th. Robert Coles was looking for his first win, fifteen years after his first appearance on the European Tour. His eagle at hole 7 was stunning, but Coles’ bad luck at the last hole finally meant SSP Chowrasia could call himself the winner of the Avantha Masters, and claim the prize money of € 300.000. His second big prize, after winning the 2008 India Masters in Delhi.
Tour Schedule: first to US, then Europe
From New Delhi, the European Tour heads for the US, where the WGC - Accenture Match Play Championship awaits in Dove Mountain, Marana. Then, the pros travel to the Doral Golf Resort & Spa, Florida for the WGC-Cadillac Championship. Lastly, on March 17 the players tee off for the first time in Europe this year, as the Donnafugata Golf Resort & Spa on Sicily will host the Sicilian Open. Following the success of the Molinari brothers, Francesco and Edoardo, golf is becoming increasingly popular in Italy and as a result the Tour´s visit to the country is something many Italians are looking forward to. Unfortunately, so far the Molinari brothers have not reached top rankings in the European Tour events, but Italian hopes are still high for them.
The Sicily Open, along with the BMW Italian Open one of the two European Tour events in Italy, is the first major tournament ever to be held at Donnafugata Golf Resort and Spa. Gary Player, designer of the course, was thrilled when he heard Donnafugata was to be on the European Tour schedule. "I am very proud of the work we did at Donnafugata. It was a challenging design because the site is located within a nature preserve and we had to make sure that the course added to the natural beauty of the land. We used native grasses and plants, and paid close attention to protecting the existing olive tree groves and ancient rock walls that delineated family property boundaries. Sicily is a beautiful island and a great place to hold an Open Championship. I am curious to see what the European professionals will think of the course." Player is also very pleased to see the renewed enthusiasm about golf in Italy, as the golfing legend says: “The Molinari brothers and young Matteo Manassero have brought tremendous exposure to the sport and have laid a foundation for the future.”
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