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Top stars to vie for honours in Hero Honda Indian Open

New Delhi, Oct 5 (UNI) Five players, who between them have won six times in the last seven years, will once again be in the fray for the half a million dollar Hero Honda Indian Open beginning next Thursday at the Delhi Golf Course here.

Led by defending champion, Jyoti Randhawa, the field includes the last four champions, Thaworn Wiratchant (2005), Mardan Mamat (2004), Mike Cunning (2003) and Vijay Kumar (2002) in the fray.

And with the participation of Jeev Milkha Singh, the field has become even more intense.

Indian players have always been very strong on home turf. Ali Sher started it off with twin wins in 1991 and 1993 Indian Opens.

Two years later at the 1995 Gadgil Western Masters, the only time it was held, Gaurav Ghei emerged winner.

Indians emerged winners in five of the six editions of the Hero Honda Masters between 1997 and 2004. Jyoti Randhawa winning it twice, Arjun Atwal twice and Harmeet Kahlon once.

As for the Indian Open, Firoze Ali won it in 1998 and Atwal followed in 1999. Randhawa made a hat-trick for Indians in the year 2000.

The success story for Indian continued in 2002 when Vijay Kumar emerged champion in 2006.

Since 1995, Indians have won nine Asian Tour titles at home, making them the most successful nation on Indian courses.

However the Indians are likely to face stiff challange from Thaworn Wiractchant, Mike Cunning and Mardan Mamat who are all-familiar with DGC.


Story first published: Friday, October 5, 2007, 19:38 [IST]
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