For the second year running, the Indian Open has been dogged by ambiguity. A scroll down the Asian Tour's calendar shows it listed as one of the two events for which dates are yet to be finalised.
However, following talks between the Indian Golf Union, which holds the rights to the national Open, Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) and Asian Tour, during the Panasonic Open in New Delhi last week, the uncertainty could soon end.
“We (the three parties) have come to an agreement and October 18-21 are the dates we are looking at. It is now subject to confirmation from Nimbus (the promoter),” said a senior Asian Tour official. The Delhi Golf Club will stay the hosts.
Bumper 2013 season?
When the $2.4 million Avantha Masters came to an end on 19 February, the organisers had announced that the tri-sanctioned event would return next year with enhanced prize money. The SAIL and Panasonic Open could go the same way too. Carrying a prize sum of $300,000 each, efforts are on to raise it to $500,000.
Talk of the Indian Masters and Indian Classic taking off has been on for a while, but even if the two events fail to find a place in next year's calendar, India could surpass Malaysia as the Tour's biggest market in Asia.
“But we need to take golf out of Delhi. Looking at the tremendous interest down south, Bangalore is an ideal venue. So is Mumbai. Being the financial capital, a lot of sponsors want to mark their presence there,” a tour official said.