Clarke tops field for Belfry

 

The newly-crowned world match-play champion Darren Clarke will head a top-class field in this year's Benson and Hedges International Open.

The Ulster-man, fresh from his stunning victory over world number one Tiger Woods in California, will be one of the favourites for the top prize of £160,000 at The Belfry from May 11th-14th.

The field for the 30th staging of the event will also include defending champion and seven-time European number one Colin Montgomerie, 1999 Masters champion Jose Maria Olazabal and Open champion Paul Lawrie.

World number six Lee Westwood will head the English challenge and is keen to compete for victory in this year's event after missing out 12 months ago through injury.

The tournament moves to the newly-renovated Brabazon course this year after four years at The Oxfordshire in Thame and gives Europe's top players the chance to familiarise themselves with the venue for next year's Ryder Cup.

European captain Sam Torrance, making one of his rare playing appearances this season, will also have the opportunity to run the rule over Cup contenders Miguel Angel Jimenez of Spain, Ireland's Padraig Harrington, France's Jean Van de Velde, Welshman Ian Woosnam and twice winner Bernhard Langer of Germany.