Clarke joins Major stars to test swing in 'T20 format'
Darren Clarke and Angel Cabrera will be among four Major winners teeing off in a city-based golf league in India next month in a format modelled on the country's Twenty20 cricket league.
Masterminded by Indian golfer Shiv Kapur, the league would also feature former US Open champion Michael Campbell, 2002 PGA Championship winner Rich Beem, multiple European Tour winner David Howell and Asian Tour stalwart Thaworn Wiratchant, the organisers announced.
"When I saw the Indian Premier League (Twenty20 tournament), I thought it made cricket look cool. I wanted to do the same in golf, without taking away the seriousness, of course," Kapur – whose lone Asian Tour win came in 2005 – told a news conference.
"It would be a great opportunity for the local players to team up with some of the big names. It would be an experience they would cherish for the rest of their lives," the 30-year-old golfer said.
Scheduled on February 8-10 at a course near Mumbai, the inaugural league will feature two day-night rounds of stroke-play, followed by the third and final round of best-ball format.
Each round will be played over 14 holes, instead of the regular 18, by the teams comprising four golfers, both local and international.
"We decided three-hour rounds would be ideal from a TV viewership point of view," Kapur said. Sri Lanka cricket captain Mahela Jayawardene is promoter of the $400,000 league's Colombo-based franchise.
"We are starting with one team from Sri Lanka and the idea is to add more international franchises going forward," Kapur said.
The organisers were yet to finalise the remaining three franchises and said a golfers' auction would take place in the next couple of weeks.