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Rupee slump costs India only European Tour event

By Amlan Chakraborty NEW DELHI (Reuters) - A currency slump and slowing economy have cost India its biggest golf tournament after sponsors pulled out of the country's only European Tour event on Thursday. The Avantha Group, which sponsored the first four years of the tournament, said it would have required a substantial hike in prize money, apart from a right slot in the European Tour calendar, to attract top talents for the 2014 and subsequent editions.

Golf: Aiken leads Avantha Masters after birdie blitz

Thomas Aiken of South Africa snatched the lead in the $2.3 million Avantha Masters after Saturday's dramatic third round in which he hit eight birdies and an eagle. Aiken, who began the day four shots behind the leaders, carded a flawless 62 to end the day at 18-under par 198, three strokes ahead of nearest challenger Liang Wenchong of China. One shot behind the Chinese were Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand and David Drysdale of Scotland at 202, setting up an intriguing finale on Sunday at the Greg Norman-designed par-72 Jaypee Greens outside New Delhi.

Golf: Montgomerie set for Avantha debut in India

European Tour great Colin Montgomerie headlines the strongest field ever assembled for the Avantha Masters teeing off in India on Thursday. Montgomerie, an eight-time winner of the European Order of Merit, faces a tough challenge from a strong field in which 50 of the 156 players have tasted victory on the European Tour and 38 have secured titles on the Asian Tour.

INTERVIEW-Golf-Chowrasia's wife misses out on best round of week

By Tony Jimenez ABU DHABI, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Shiv Chowrasia's wife will be ruing her decision to stay in bed on Saturday morning after missing out on seeing her journeyman husband shoot the best round of the week at the Abu Dhabi Championship. The twice former European Tour winner teed off at 0738 local time in the second match of the day but the 5-foot-5 (1.65-metre) Indian quickly catapulted his way up the leaderboard with a flawless seven-under-par 65 earning a five-under total of 211.
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