Three top European tour winners -- Andrew Coltart, Simon Dyson and Graeme McDowell -- will lead the star parade in the 400,000 dollar Hero Honda Indian Open Golf to be in New Delhi from October 19 to 22.
Apart from the European stars, the Indian Open has also attracted leading pros from Asian tour including defending champion Thaworn Wiratchant and former champions Gaurav Ghei and Jyoti Randhawa.
However, two big names among the Indian pros -- former champion Arjun Atwal and Jeev Milkha Singh -- will not be seen in action in this prestigious event as they are playing in the United States and Japan respectively.
Talking to newspersons here this afternoon, promoter of the event, World Sport Group (WSG) vice president Chris Jordan said, "Hero Honda are marking their second year of title sponsoring the Indian open by increasing the prize money by 100,000 dollar to 400,000 dollar.
Simon Dyson (England), winner of the Asian Tour of Merit title in 2000, claimed the Indonesian Open in March and KLM Dutch open in a sudden-death play-off in August this year. Andrew Coltart (Scotland) was part of the 1995 Alfred Dunhill Cup winning team along with Colin Montogomerie and Sam Torrance. Graeme McDowell is from Northern Ireland.
Managing Director and CEO Hero Honda Motors Pawan Munjal said this year's Indian open, with galaxy of stars from across the continents will give a big boost to the game in the country.
"The Indian open is oldest running competition in the country and I am confident that the 43rd edition of this event will be a great success," he said.
The last Indian golfer to win this event was Vijay Kumar in 2002. It was in 1991 that Ali Sher became the first Indian pro to win this Open. He again won in 1993.
After that for three consecutive years -- 1998 to 2000 -- the title stayed in Indian hands with Firoz Ali claiming it in 1998 followed by Arjun Atwal and Jyoti Randhawa.