Players auctioned off for IPL-style league

Former US Open winner Campbell attracts highest bid for GPL

Gulf News

New Delhi: A player auction for a new golf tournament inspired by cricket’s hugely successful Indian Premier League has seen former US Open winner Michael Campbell attract the highest bid, organisers said on Sunday.

The franchise-based Golf Premier League, to be played at the Aamby Valley course near the western city of Pune from February 8 to 10, has a prize pot of $400,000 and a winner’s purse of $250,000 (Dh918,000).

Eight franchises hired four players each, with Campbell winning the highest bid of $61,000 and two other Major winners, Darren Clarke and Angel Cabrera, both picked up for $55,000, while Asian Tour stars Thaworn Wiratchant and Chapchai Nirat went for $37,000 each at the auction in Mumbai on Saturday night.

The teams, made up of both foreign and Indian players, will compete in three 14-hole rounds, according to Indian golfer Shiv Kapur, one of the event organisers.

The Colombo team, the lone foreign franchise, is promoted by Sri Lanka’s cricket captain Mahela Jayawardene.

“It is the slow and steady build-up to the dream that I have had for a franchise-based event in golf, and now we are up and running,” said Kapur, one of India’s top professionals, in a statement. “The launch and the auction have set the stage and now it is for us, the players, to add to the show.”