Ryder Cup star Molinari to tee off at Indian Open

New Delhi: Home-grown stars such as Jeev Milkha Singh might be giving it a miss but the country`s premier golf tournament -- the Hero Indian Open -- will have a top draw in Ryder Cup star Edoardo Molinari of Italy when it tees off here from October 13 to 16.

The organisers claimed that Jeev is on the list of golfers registered for the event but given that the dates of the USD 1.25 million event clash with his European Tour commitments, his participation is unlikely for the fourth year running.

"His name is still there on the list of registered golfers and he can`t be considered out till the time he withdraws from there," insisted the event`s title sponsor -- Hero Group`s -- Head of Marketing Anil Dua.

The confirmed Indian names for the event include Indian Masters champion and Asian Tour Order of Merit leader SSP Chowrasia and the promising duo of Gaganjeet Bhullar and Anirban Lahiri. Former champion Jyoti Randhawa is also expected to be there at the National Open.

Defending champion Rikard Karlberg of Sweden has also confirmed participation in the event, which is in its 48th year.

But Molinari is the biggest international name to be confirmed for the event.

The 30-year-old, who along with his brother Francesco guided Italy to the World Cup title, was part of the victorious European Ryder Cup team last year.

"I will be coming to India for the first time and I am really looking forward to it. I want to experience the Indian hospitality first hand," he said in a recorded message at the trophy unveiling ceremony of the event.

Molinari, ranked 53rd in the world, has two European Tour titles -- Barclays Scottish Open and the Johnnie Walker Championship that he won last year.


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