Michael Campbell joining lucrative league

SIMON PLUMB
Last updated 05:00 06/01/2013
Michael Campbell
Getty Images
REASON TO SMILE: A visibly more relaxed Michael Campbell has shown marked improvement in recent months.

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Michael Campbell is one of four Major champions up for auction in a multimillion-dollar, IPL-style golf league.

Modelled on cricket's lucrative Twenty20 competition, the Indian Golf Premier League launches next month carrying a reputed total prize purse of almost $5 million.

Along with 2005 US Open champion Campbell, three other Major-winners will also feature in Northern Ireland's Darren Clarke (2011 British Open), Argentine Angel Cabrera (2007 US Open, 2009 Masters) and Rich Beem (2002 PGA Championship).

Well-known European Tour players, England's David Howell and Sweden's Daniel Chopra, have also signed up in an event which looks set to be floodlit with a day-night format.

The play will also feature an unconventional format. In an attempt to make golf a more attractive spectator sport, the league will feature shortened rounds of 14 holes as opposed to the traditional 18, and a basketball-style shot clock permitting players only 30 seconds in which to play each stroke.

Played over three rounds, scheduled to be held at the Aamby Valley Golf Course, Maharashtra, the event is scheduled to run from February 8-10.

The player auction date is yet to be confirmed, but the league will be comprised of five teams - the Delhi Darts, Gujarat Underdawgs, Shubhkamna Eagles, Tamil Nadu Pulis and Colombo Sixers - owned by Sri Lankan cricket captain Mahela Jayawardene.

The winning team is set to bank almost $3m and co-founder of the event, European Tour professional Shiv Kapur, hopes the competition will help popularise golf in his native India.

"A round of golf is played over four-and-a-half hours. We have tried to keep it within three hours, so that people can watch it over television during the evening hours," Kapur said.

Kapur will also compete beside well-known Asian Tour players Thaworn Wiratchant and Chapchai Nirat. Gaganjeet Bhullar, Anirban Lahiri and several other players on the Professional Golf Tour of India will be part of the auction.

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