Golfers Fraser, Luiten, Coetzee to compete at Indian Open

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New Delhi, March 8 (IANS) Three top-100 ranked golfers — Australian Marcus Fraser, Dutchman Joost Luiten and South African George Coetzee — have confirmed their participation in the Hero Indian Open to be held here between March 17 and 20, it was announced on Tuesday.

With the inclusion of Fraser (world No.63), Luiten (77) and Coetzee (78), the total number of top-100 ranked professionals in the tournament has gone up to six. Anirban Lahiri at 50th, Tommy Fleetwood at 81st and Marc Warren at 87th are the other participants in the Top-100.

Besides these, three-time Major winner Padraig Harrington of Ireland has also confirmed participation in the event.

The event will once again feature on the European Tour as a co-sanctioned event with the Asian Tour.

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Fraser, who has twice been second on the Asian Tour Order of Merit and is current leading it for 2016, was third at the Hero Indian Open in 2015. This year Fraser shot up in World rankings, following his win at the Malaysian Championships last month.

The 37-year-old Australian from Melbourne has three European Tour titles, including co-sanctioned events. He was also tied 20 at the British Open Championship last year. This season soon after the win in Malaysia, he was T-15 in Perth International.

Luiten, who played a lot of events on Professional Golfers Association (PGA) Tour in 2015, has been in great form with a tied fifth in Abu Dhabi and tied eighth in Dubai and tied 13th in Qatar.

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The 29-year-old Coetzee, who is also coming off a win in South Africa at the Dimension Data, was tied seventh in Qatar.

In 2015, Coetzee hit the spotlight as he finished tied seventh at the PGA Championship, besides winning twice at the Tshwane Open and AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open, both of which were European Tour events. He was also third at the Trophee Hassan in Morocco.

Warren, 87th in the world, was runner-up at Qatar in 2015 and was fourth at both Scottish Open and Saltire Matchplay.

The event will see in action all top Indian players, who between them have won numerous international titles on Asian, European, Japan and PGA Tours. They include Jeev Milkha Singh, Arjun Atwal, SSP Chawrasia, Shiv Kapur, Gaganjeet Bhullar, Rashid Khan, Rahil Gangjee, Himmat Rai and Chiragh Kumar among others.

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The roster of former champions is likely to include Siddikur Rahman of Bangladesh, Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand, Mardan Mamat of Singapore and India’s own Atwal and some more.

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