Johor Bahru (Malaysia): Himmat Rai, coming from his biggest payday in professional golf, returns to the Iskandar Johor Open, an event where he pushed K.J. Choi to the brink in 2009 before settling for tied third.
Himmat now returns as a winner on the Asian tour following his triumph at this year`s ISPS Handa Singapore Classic in September.
"It is definitely one of the most memorable events for me and I`m extremely focussed on the preparations to play well here again. It has been a solid season for me so far but I`m still committed at pushing the bar in every aspect of my game," said Rai, who was the best Indian finisher in last week`s Barclays Singapore Open, where he was tied 13th and picked up USD 86,600 by far his best paycheck as a pro.
The Indian challenge will also include Jeev Milkha Singh, who plays in one of the marquee groups with Colin Montgomerie and Camilo Villegas.
Chiragh Kumar, second at the Hero Indian Open last month, got into the field as one of the rerserves and Rahil Gangjee, who like Chiragh made the cut at Singapore, is also in the field.
Three leading Indian players, who have been struggling with their form, SSP Chowrasia, Shiv Kapur and Jyoti Randhawa will hope to revive their fortunes at Johor. The Indian contingent also includes Gaurav Ghei, Manav Jaini, Sujjan Singh and Digvijay Singh.
The Indian connection continues with Daniel Chopra, an Indo-Swede and Kunal Bhasin, an Australian of Indian origin.
Meanwhile, Juvic Pagunsan of the Philippines will seek to overcome his play-off defeat in Singapore with a victory at the Iskandar Johor Open starting on Thursday.