Array of order of merit winners line-up for Hero Indian Open

Scott Hend of Australia will be leading the Asian challenge at the Hero India Open.   -  Getty Images

A strong line-up of Order of Merit winners from the Asian Tour and India’s domestic PGTI Order of Merit will be seen in action at the star-studded Hero Indian Open, commencing here on March 9.

Eight Asian Tour players, led by Scott Hend, who among them have won the Asian Tour Order of Merit (OoM) 10 times since 2002, will be present next week.

Since 2002, when Jyoti Randhawa became the first Indian to win the Order of Merit, four Indians have won the Asian Tour OoM five times with Jeev Milkha Singh doing it twice, in 2006 and 2008. The others are Arjun Atwal (2003) and Anirban Lahiri (2015).

The field for the upcoming event is also studded with four non-Indians, who among them have also won five Asian Tour OoM titles. They are Thaworn Wiratchant (2005 and 2012), who on both occasions also won the Hero Indian Open, Liang Wen-Chong (2007), the Hero Indian Open winner in 2008, Kiradech Aphibarnarat (2013) and Scott Hend (2016).

Meanwhile, every Indian who has topped the Indian PGTI Order of Merit since 2007 will feature in the Hero Indian Open 2017. Eight have won the PGTI Order of Merit 10 times since 2007.

Rashid Khan, twice winner on Asian Tour, won the Indian PGTI OoM in 2016 and 2013, while another two-time winner Ashok Kumar (2007 and 2010) are also present in the field.

The others are S Chikkarangappa (2015), Shankar Das (2014), Shamim Khan (2012), Chiragh Kumar (2011), Lahiri (2009) and Mukesh Kumar (2008).

Of the Indian PGTI Order of Merit list winners since 2007, four players have gone on to win on the Asian Tour also.

They are Mukesh, Lahiri, Chiragh and Rashid.

All the top Indians and World No. 25 Rafa Cabrera-Bello will be seen in action at the Indian Open, which is now in its third year on the European Tour.

The Hero Indian Open will be held at the Gary Player course at the DLF Golf & Country Club, Gurgaon from March 9 to 12.

The prize purse has been enhanced to USD 1.75 million, almost six times of USD 300,000, which was the amount when Hero took on the Title Sponsorship of the Indian Open in 2005.

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