Indian Open golf to have strongest field ever

New Delhi, Jan 31 (IANS) A strong contingent from Europe, which has more than 60 titles in their collective kitty, besides another heavy field of Asian Tour golfers who have won more than 100 titles, have entered for the 2015 Indian Open, which becomes a co-sanctioned event between the European and Asian Tours for the first time.

With entries from 16 players from the top-100 on the European Tour’s 2014 Race to Dubai (Order of Merit) rankings, and 27 from the top-30 of the Asian Tour’s 2014 Order of Merit, the field is set to become one of the strongest ever assembled in India. The field also includes five players in the world’s top-100, including India’s Anirban Lahiri.
The tournament will be held Feb 19-22 at the par-71 Delhi Golf Club (DGC).
Every top Indian has entered the event and it includes the famed ‘Big 3’ of Indian golf — Jeev Milkha Singh, Arjun Atwal and Jyoti Randhawa — who between them have won more than 30 titles on Asian, European, US and Japan Tours.
Besides them, the current crop led by Anirban Lahiri, Gaganjeet Bhullar, Shiv Kapur, S.S.P. Chowrasia and the 23-year-old Rashid Khan will also be seen in action.
Indian golf had a great 2014 as players won no less than six titles on Asian Tour — the most by any country during the season.
The 27-year-old Lahiri, now the highest ranked Indian in the world, and Rashid won two titles each while Chowrasia and Atwal won one each. Another title came on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) from the promising S. Chikkarangappa.
From the European contingent, as many as five players accounted for seven titles on the 2014 European Tour with Alexander Levy and the seasoned Miguel Angel Jimenez winning twice each.
Dane Thorbjorn Olesen, Australian Scott Hend and Swede Mikael Lundberg are the other winners to send their entries for what will be the 51st edition of the event.
The star cast includes Asia’s most successful winner of all time Thaworn Wiratchant, who has 18 titles on Asian Tour, and Spaniard Jimenez, who has 21 European Tour titles, and figures 10th on the all-time list of most successful players on European Tour.
The field also has all the Indian Open champions from 2004 onwards and five players who have won the Asian Tour Order of Merit seven times since 2002 including Jeev and Wiratchant, who have won it twice each.