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2013 European Challenge Tour season to begin in India

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The new European Challenge Tour season will once again start on Indian soil, at the Gujarat Kensville Challenge from January 31 to February 3 2013. The past two Challenge Tour campaigns have begun at Kensville Golf & Country Club in Ahmedabad, with Max Kieffer taking the title this year, following in the footsteps of home winner Gaganjeet Bhullar in 2011.

The 2013 edition will feature an increased field of 120 players – 63 Challenge Tour Members and 57 from the Professional Golf Tour of India – and will carry a prize fund of €200,000.

Sameer Sinha, Managing Director of Kensville G&CC, said: "Kensville is delighted to welcome the 2013 GKC once again this year. Our association with the European Challenge Tour has truly been a privilege.

"It has brought an event of international calibre to Gujarat and has served the purpose of popularising golf in India very well."

The second tournament on the 2013 schedule will be the Barclays Kenya Open, which returns to Karen Golf Club in Nairobi from February 14 – 17 for the first time since 2008, having been played at Muthaiga Golf Club in the interim.

It will be the 21st staging of the event, which was first played on the Challenge Tour in 1991, and the prize fund will be €195,000.

Patrick Obath, Tournament Director of the Barclays Kenya Open, said: "Changing the venue showcases the diversity of Kenya's ability to host world-class golfing championships.

"The tournament is sure to be both challenging and competitive, and the golfers will have to adapt, making for truly enjoyable golf."

Alain de Soultrait, Director of the Challenge Tour, added: "We are delighted to be getting the 2013 Challenge Tour season off to such a great start on two fantastic courses at Kensville in India and Karen in Kenya.

"The weather in the two countries is perfect and the quality of the hospitality at both venues is always of the highest calibre. With Kensville G&CC we have an exceptional partner and we thank them as well as the Gujarat state for their commitment and support.

"We are also thrilled to be returning to Karen Golf Club for the first time in five years to host what is always a hugely popular and well-attended tournament."