New Delhi :
Australian Marcus Fraser, Dutchman Joost Luiten and South African George Coetzee today joined the growing list of top 100 golfers who will tee up at the Delhi Golf course for the Hero Indian Open from March 17 to 20.
With the addition of Fraser (Ranked 63rd), Luiten (Ranked 77th) and Coetzee (Ranked 78th), the total number of players in Top-100 will be as high at six in the Hero Indian Open, which will carry the biggest-ever purse of USD 1.66 million.
India’s Anirban Lahiri at 50th, Tommy Fleetwood at 81st and Marc Warren at 87th are the others in the Top-100. Besides these, three-time Major winner, Padraig Harrington of Ireland, has also confirmed for the event.
The strength of the field and presence of so many Top-100 players will also mean more World Ranking points, which are essential for players to qualify for the Rio Olympics, where golf makes a return after 108 years. The event will once again feature on the European Tour as a co-sanctioned event with the Asian Tour.
Current leader of Asian Tour Order of Merit, Fraser was third at the 2015 Hero Indian Open. This year Fraser shot up in World rankings, following his win at the Malaysian Championships last month. He has three European Tour titles, including co-sanctioned events. He was also T-20 at the Open Championships last year. This season soon after the win in Malaysia, Fraser was T-15 in Perth International.
Luiten, who played a lot of events on PGA Tour in 2015, has been in great form with a Tied-fifth in Abu Dhabi and Tied-eighth in Dubai and T-13 in Qatar. He was also T-15 in Malaysia. Last year, Luiten, 30, had Top-5 finishes in Scottish Open and Dunhill Championships. Once ranked as high as 28th, he is now 77th.
The 29-year-old Coetzee, who is also coming off a win in South Africa at the Dimension Data, was Tied-seventh in Qatar. In 2015, Coetzee finished T-7 at the PGA Championships, besides winning twice at the Tshwane Open and AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open, both of which were European Tour events. He was also third at the Trophee Hassan in Morocco.
Warren, 87th in the world, was runner-up at Qatar in 2015 and was fourth at both Scottish Open and Saltire Matchplay. Harrington, one of the sporting icons of Ireland, won his first Major in 2007 at the British Open in Carnoustie, when he beat Sergio Garcia in a four-hole play-off and became the first Irishman to win the Open in 60 years.
The event will see top Indian players such as Jeev Milkha Singh, Arjun Atwal, SSP Chawrasia, Shiv Kapur, Rashid Khan, Gaganjeet Bhullar, Rahil Gangjee, Himmat Rai and Chiragh Kumar among others.