New Delhi - Three-time Major champion Padraig Harrington will lead a competitive field at the Indian Open which starts next month with boosted prize money of $1.66 million.
The Irishman said he was looking forward to playing in his first open at the Delhi Golf Club, an event sanctioned by the Asian and European Tours and running March 17-20.
The field includes defending champion Anirban Lahiri of India and a host of other past winners including Siddikur Rahman (Bangladesh), Thaworn Wiratchant (Thailand), Mardan Mamat (Singapore) and Arjun Atwal (India).
But the spotlight will be on Harrington, a two-time British Open and former US PGA winner, who has not played in India since his amateur days almost two decades ago.
"Looking forward to coming and playing the Hero Indian Open at the Delhi Golf Club. Actually it starts on March 17 -- St. Patrick's Day," the 44-year-old said in a video message at the launch Tuesday of this year's tournament.
"And I haven't played in India for a long time. It's the early 1990s that I played here in the Indian Amateur Open, so making it to the Indian Open as pro might be different."