NEW DELHI (AP) - Asian players will be at the forefront of a competitive field at this weekend's Indian Open, Ryder Cup player Edoardo Molinari said Tuesday.
"I expect a lot of Asian players, Indians in particular, to do well this week," the 30-year-old Italian said. "I've never played in India before but I had heard a lot about the Delhi Golf Club and so decided to come down and compete this year."
The 55th-ranked Molinari, a member of the 2010 Ryder Cup winning team, leads a field that includes defending champion Rikard Karlberg of Sweden and three-time winner Jyoti Randhawa of India.
The $1.25 million event includes Asian Tour players Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand and Jbe Kruger of South Africa.
"The playing conditions are perfect and the weather is good," said Molinari, a two-time winner on the European Tour.
Karlberg, 24, who won the Sail Open and the Indian Open tournaments at the Delhi Golf Club in 2010, said he was hoping to strike form this week.
"There is something about this course which gets the best from me," Karlberg said. "I have had a mixed season and I am looking forward to this event."
Shiv Chowrasia of India, who has won two European Tour titles and twice finished second at the Indian Open, said he was hoping to make the most of familiar conditions.
"I've been out of form lately but I've always played well here, so I'm confident," Chowrasia said. "I'm currently second on the Asian Tour Order of Merit and a good finish could once again put me on top."
Chowrasia's compatriot Shiv Kapur is also hoping for a return to form.
"I've gained a lot of experience from playing in Europe over the last couple of seasons and that (should) help me this week," Kapur said. "The fairways are in great shape and anyone with a good short game will perform well."
The first round gets underway Thursday.