India's richest golf event, the European and Asian Tour co-sanctioned Avantha Masters, has been shifted from DLF Golf and Country Club, Gurgaon to Jaypee Greens Course, Greater Noida this year and will be played from March 14 to 17 instead of the traditional February slot.
The demanding 7,347 yards, par-72 Championship Course at Jaypee Greens Golf Course, which opened in 2000, is the only course in India designed by two-time Major champion Greg Norman.
The DLF Golf and Country Club hosted the 1.8 million Euro event in 2010 (won by Andrew Dodt), 2011 (SSP Chowrasia) and 2012 (Jbe Kruger).
The tournament will again be co-sanctioned by the Asian Tours and European Tour and will comprise an increased field of 156 players, with 61 provided by Asian Tour, 61 by The European Tour, 28 by the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) and the final six allocated to sponsor's invitations.
Defending champion Jbe Kruger said he was looking foward to the opportunity of exploring the new venue, where he hasn't played before.
"Winning your first European Tour event is always special, and I can't wait to go back to India to defend my Avantha Masters title in March. It's a great country with great people, and I've got some very fond memories of my victory in Delhi last year.
"I haven't played Jaypee Greens but have heard great things about it, and if it's anything like as good as last year's, then we're in for a real treat," he said. Padamjit Sandhu, director of the PGTI, said the new venue will showcase India's ability to host a big event.
"The Avantha Masters gives Indian golfers the best possible platform to test themselves against some of the world's best golfers.
"Following the recent success of the likes of Jeev Milkha Singh, Gaganjeet Bhullar, Shiv Kapur, Jyoti Randhawa and SSP Chowrasia, the game of golf has never been more popular in India, and I have no doubt that the fourth edition of the Avantha Masters will again showcase India's ability to stage a world-class tournament," he said.
Kyi Hla Han, executive chairman of the Asian Tour, said the event will touch new highs.
"As the richest tournament in India, the Avantha Masters is regarded highly in Asia and I would like to express our fullest appreciation to our title sponsor Avantha for their wonderful contribution to the game.
"With our sanctioning partners PGTI and The European Tour, the Asian Tour will continue to play the lead role in developing professional golf at the highest level in the region," he said.
Admission to the tournament will again be free of charge.