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Big names commit to Heinken Classic

Former British Open champion Sandy Lyle and rising US golf star Ricky Barnes have been added to the field for next month's Heineken Classic at Royal Melbourne.

Tournament organiser Tony Roosenburg said that Lyle had accepted a sponsor's invitation to compete at the $2 million tournament which is co-sanctioned by the Australasian and European PGA tours.

Barnes, who finished ninth at last month's Australian Open, won the US Amateur title in 2002.

Last year's US Amateur winner, Nick Flanagan from Newcastle, is also in the strongest-ever field for the Heineken Classic, which runs from February 5-8.

Frenchmen Jean van de Velde has also accepted a sponsor's invitation, while leading European players Paul Casey, Andrew Coltart, Paul McGinley and Pierre Fulke have confirmed their participation.

Casey led the Heineken Classic for the better part of three rounds last year and went on to win the ANZ Championship the following week.

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