New Delhi: Spanish pro Miguel Angel Jimenez will be the top draw when a strong field, comprising golfers from Europe and Asia, vie for the top honours at the USD 1.5 million Hero Indian Open golf tournament, which will make its debut on the European Tour next month.
"I am very excited to play in the Indian Open. Golf in India has been growing, there is a lot of talent. I have seen Anirban Lahiri and Gaganjeet Bhullar doing well at the EurAsia. I have heard a lot about India and I am looking forward to a good time in India," Jimenez, who has won 21 times on the Race to Dubai, said in a message.
The 51-year-old, who has represented Europe in the Ryder Cup on four occasions, was also the playing captain of the European Team at EurAsia Cup in Malaysia last year.
Jimenez will be a part of a strong field which is expected to include Bangladesh's Siddikur Rahman, who won the event in 2013, India's SSP Chowrasia and Anirban Lahiri, who were both tied second and Rashid Khan and Chiragh Kumar, who were tied fourth last year.
Even as entries continue to come in, some other top stars, such as Jeev Milkha Singh, Arjun Atwal and Jyoti Randhawa, the only three-time Indian winner of the Hero Indian Open, are also expected to participate.
However, a clearer picture will emerge in the next few weeks ahead of the tournament which will be held from February 19 to 22 at the Delhi Golf Club.
"A total of 132 golfer will be on the field at the Hero Indian Open. There will be 50 players from European and Asian Tour respectively, 22 golfers will be from PGTI, four will be amateurs and six will be on sponsor's invite," said J Narain, Sports Advisor Hero Moto Corp.
Ryder Cup Director Richard Hills said: "It is with great pleasure that we return to India for the Hero Indian Open 2015, and we look forward to a strong field assembling at Delhi Golf Club next month.
"The European Tour has always enjoyed coming to this wonderful country and we look forward to returning as the tournament continues to grow the game in the country. We would therefore like to thank Pawan Munjal from Hero MotoCorp Ltd for his support of this event.
"It was a great pleasure to welcome him to Gleneagles last September for The Ryder Cup, and we look forward to working with him and our tri-sanctioning partners the Indian Golf Union and the Asian Tour on this event," he said.
Nimbus Sport, which has promoted the Hero Indian Open since 2011, has acquired the rights to manage the tournament for the next three editions from 2015 to 2017.