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Top English players to play in Singapore

Three times British Open champion Nick Faldo and emerging talent Justin Rose, the old and new faces of English golf, will join a host of top players at the Singapore Masters later this month, sponsors said on Monday.

Also lined up for the event are Welshman Ian Woosnam, Frenchman Jean Van de Velde, Argentina's Eduardo Romero, Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez, Australians Peter O'Malley and Stephen Leaney and Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee.

Former European Ryder Cup players Peter Baker and David Gilford of England, Scotland's Andrew Coltart and Spaniard Ignacio Garrido are also in the tournament field.

"I am absolutely delighted that so many of the European Tour's foremost players will head to this year's Singapore Masters," Glenn Weckerlin, a spokesman for the tournament sponsors, said in a statement.

"One of the great things about this year's event is the great blend of experience and youth.

"Justin Rose is one of the world's rising stars and we are delighted that his talents will be on full display in Singapore.

"He will certainly be in good form as he won the Dunhill Championship in South Africa three weeks ago and his second title of the year at the weekend."

Rose, 21, clinched the South African Masters by one shot with a closing 68 at the Wild Coast Country Club on Sunday and now lies second on the Southern African (S.A.) Tour order of merit with just one event remaining.

Should he win the season-ending S.A. Tour Championship which starts at Leopard Creek this Thursday, he would not only earn an automatic invitation to this year's British Open but would arrive in Singapore as one of the hottest players in the world.

Rose, however, is not the only emerging talent in world golf who will be playing in the Singapore Masters at Laguna National Golf and Country Club from February 21-24.

Australia's Brett Rumford, Englishmen Warren Bennett and Simon Dyson are all in the field and Dyson, as Asian order of merit winner for 2000, will hope to make the most of his recent experience on the continent.

Thailand's Jaidee, who won last year's Asian PGA Tour order of merit, will spearhead the Asian challenge in Singapore and is also in impressive early-season form following his playoff victory in the Myanmar Open on Sunday.

The Singapore Masters, a co-sanctioned event, is the fourth tournament on the 2002 Asian PGA Tour and the ninth stop on the 2002 European Tour.

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