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Indian Pro Tour joins Europe-Asia row with boycott threat

The Indian professional golf tour has warned that its players could boycott next year's planned European Tour event in the country unless it was sanctioned by them.

The European Tour have announced an inaugural $2.5 million Indian Masters event from Feb. 7-10, co-sanctioned by the Indian Golf Union (IGU).

"We're the body running professional golf in India and the European Tour should have approached us," Professional Golf Tour of India's (PGTI) tour commissioner Ajay Gupta told Reuters on Wednesday. "They've totally bypassed us."

"Any tournament on home soil, Indian pros can play only if it is sanctioned by the PGTI."

Asian Tour executive chairman Kyi Hla Han reacted angrily this week, dubbing the European Tour's plans as "unethical", for not seeking its approval.

Gupta said the player-run Indian tour would wholeheartedly back the event but the European Tour should follow the "right protocol" and involve it, with the IGU playing a marginal role.

Leading Indian player Jyoti Randhawa was also critical.

"We do welcome the event and appreciate it would help Indian golf in a big way," he was quoted as saying in Indian papers on Wednesday.

"But by not involving the Asian Tour and the PGTI with the event, the European Tour has not respected the protocol that exists between any two Tours."

The IGU said in a statement on Wednesday that the European Tour had approached it and was willing to offer through the PGTI 20 invitations to those who featured only on the domestic tour.

June 13, 2007



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