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Indian golf bringing stiffer competition: Clarke

New Delhi, Jan 24 (UNI) Ireland's ace golfer Darren Clarke is all geared up to play at the Delhi Golf Club course in the EMAAR-MGF Indian Masters that begins from February 5 to 10.

''I have never been to India, but players on the tour talk highly of the (Lodhi) course and I think it should be fun playing there,'' said the Ulsterman who could just be the man to beat at the first European Tour event ever to be played in India.

''I have played many times with Indian players like Jeev Milkha Singh and Jyoti Randhawa who are very strong. The standard of the game in Asia in general is becoming very good with more high-profile events coming to the region, bringing stiffer competition.

''And that has led to a rapid improvement in the quality of players,'' he said.

The Ryder Cup hero will join an elite star-cast, led by world number five Ernie Els, Thomas Bjorn and Mark O'Meara in the starting line-up for the 2 million dollar European Tour event, being promoted and organised by golf in Dubai.

Clarke endured a horrid drought since returning to the game following the untimely death of his wife and, at present, is languishing at 204th in the World Rankings.

The popular pro from Northern Ireland showed signs of returning to winning ways when he finished runner-up to British Open champion Padraig Harrington in the Hassan II Golf Trophy by Emaar at Royal Golf Dar Es Salam, Rabat, in October last year.


Story first published: Friday, January 25, 2008, 14:03 [IST]
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