Indian golfers eye summit at European Masters

Singapore, Aug 30 (IANS) As the only event on European soil to be sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour, the European Masters is an event like no other.

Played in the high altitudes at the Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club, the breathtaking views of the Swiss Alps and Swiss hospitality have left many players eager to return each year.

Rated as one of the most highly-anticipated events of the season, Indian golfers from the Asian Tour will set out to emulate the success of Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee and India's Jeev Milkha Singh, who have led the way in finding success on European soil with their respective wins in Wales and Scotland in 2012.

India's Anirban Lahiri describes the picturesque scenery atop the Swiss Alps as the most stunning ever that he has seen in his career. Bolstered by his third win on the Asian Tour earlier this year, the 26-year-old hopes to ride on his good form and make up for the disappointment of missing the cut last year.

"The European Masters is a great event and I always enjoy going back to compete. The scenery is beautiful and there is no other place in the world like Crans Montana," said Lahiri.

Compatriot Gaganjeet Bhullar, who was conferred India's second highest sporting award, the Arjuna Award, earlier this month, will return to the European Masters with renewed confidence.

Since making an early exit at the event last year, the Indian bounced back in the most emphatic way by winning two Asian Tour titles in a span of five weeks and finished the year in fifth place on the Asian Tour Order of Merit.

"I am more familiar with the golf course now and I think I can do well. I am also more familiar with the train ride and I know where to eat now so I am really looking forward to the week," said Bhullar, who is currently second on the Order of Merit.

This year no fewer than 25 Asian Tour winners will be back to compete at the tourney which will be held from Sep 5-8.

The Asian Tour's challenge will be spearheaded by Thongchai and Singh, who will be hoping to notch up another victory in Europe, while all eyes will also be on reigning Order of Merit champion Thaworn Wiratchant, who will be determined to put up a performance worthy of his status as Asia's No.1.

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