New Delhi : Golfers Ashok Kumar, Jyoti Randhawa and Gaurav Ghei have confirmed their participation in the Rs.6.5 million DLF Masters golf tournament starting in nearby Gurgaon Thursday.
Having won over Rs.3.8 million so far in the season with the Crompton Greaves Open title, Ashok is aiming to add the DLF Masters title to his kitty.
"I always play to win and plan to do the same thing next week. I believe in myself and my game is good so I have no doubts that I can continue my winning streak," he said.
Ashok will face tough opposition from Randhawa, who is in excellent form and has played just two events on the Professional Gold Tour of India (PGTI) tour and won both.
Randhawa heads into the Masters with a victory at the AIS Open and placed second at the Open de Espana in Madrid, where he narrowly missed winning his maiden European tour title.
"The race for the Order of Merit title is heating up and I would like to card a good finish this week to narrow the gap between Ashok and me," said Randhawa, currently placed second on the 2006-07 PGTI Order of Merit with over Rs.2.1 million in earnings.
Ghei will be the other star attraction this week as he makes his first appearance on home soil after winning the Pine Valley Open in Beijing two weeks ago.
"I am looking forward to playing the DLF Masters. The new format makes it more challenging and there will be a lot more at stake as players compete for the title as well as the team prize," said Ghei, who is ranked 28th on the PGTI Order of Merit.
"And with one of the best fields so far in any tournament, the golf on display is bound to be exceptional."
Also in the fray will be S.S.P. Chowrasia, who maintains third place on the PGTI Order of Merit with over Rs.1.9 million in earnings, while Harmeet Kahlon is fourth with over Rs.1.4 million, and Digvijay Singh is fifth, having already earned over Rs.1.3 so far this season.
"I did not play last week and am looking forward to playing the DLF Masters," said Chowrasia. "I have been playing well but need to do so consistently over four days in order to regain my winning form."
Digivjay said: "The DLF Masters will play an important role in deciding the eventual 2006-07 Order of Merit winner as a lot of players are within a few points of each other with just a few more events left to play this season."
Elsewhere, Gaganjeet Bhular has moved up to sixth place on the PGTI Order of Merit after carding a second place finish last week.
"I am ready for victory and hope to be able to win my first professional title soon," he said.
The DLF Masters will see almost all the professionals ranked among the top 50 on the PGTI Order of Merit taking part.
"We will host one of the best professional field's to play a domestic event in the country at the DLF Masters next week. Needless to say, the golf on display will be phenomenal and old records will be shattered," said Ajai Gupta, Tour Commissioner, PGTI.
Current PGTI Order of Merit: 1. Ashok Kumar Rs.3.85 million; 2. Jyoti Randhawa Rs.2.1 million; 3. S.S.P. Chowrasia Rs.1.94 million; 4. Harmeet Kahlon Rs.1.49 million; 5. Digvijay Singh Rs.1.3 million; 6. Gaganjeet Bhullar Rs.1.16 million; 7. Lam Chih Bing Rs.984,400; 8. C. Muniyappa Rs.888,000; 9. Shamim Khan Rs.828,400; 10. Vivek Bhandari Rs.813,600