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Recession defers Senior Masters

Charles Perring, deputy-managing director, European Senior Tour, had then expressed keenness to get the tournament back on rails at the earliest, reports Robin Bose.

other Updated: Feb 10, 2009 13:21 IST
Robin Bose

Expectation has been laid to rest. When the

Hindustan Times

reported last August that the Indian Senior Masters had been put off, it was given to understand that the country’s maiden European Senior Tour event would see light in the coming year.

Charles Perring, deputy-managing director, European Senior Tour, had then expressed keenness to get the tournament back on rails at the earliest. “We are investigating 2009 and are in talks with half a dozen parties (read promoters).”

But contacted last week, Perring confirmed what was being spoken in hushed tones in New Delhi.

“Our efforts to stage a European Senior Tour event in India continue, but as yet, have not come to fruition. It’s therefore unlikely that we will be in a position to hold a tournament in 2009,” he said.

Besides recession, another factor that had led to the event getting deferred was the promoter’s lack of transparency in its dealings.

“Armed with full rights for three years”, ARC Sports Management Pvt. Ltd (the promoter) signed a contract with the Professional Golfers Association of India to stage the $300,000 event, only to pull out and renegotiate with the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) to stage it at the Jaypee Greens, Greater Noida, from October 24-26. ARC finally pulled out citing financial difficulties and forced the PGTI to remove the Masters from last year’s calendar.

On the future course of action, a PGTI official said: “We are in talks but nothing concrete has evolved. It’s best to ask the European Senior Tour.”

Perring said: “I’m in discussion with a number of parties in India who are doing everything they can to get an event up and running and hopefully something will come out of these talks.

“However, economic conditions this year are not favourable, so realistically the earliest I would expect to see the Senior Tour in India would be in 2010.

As for the player field, prize money levels, etc, neither of these can be projected until we know what budgets are available for an event.”