Nine former Ryder Cup representatives headline the field for next month’s inaugural $425,000 Sharjah Golf Masters.

Des Smyth, Ronan Rafferty, Jose Rivero, Gordon J Brand, Steven Richardson, Gordon Brand Jnr, Philip Walton, Costantino Rocca and Barry Lane are all confirmed for the opening event of the 2017 European Senior Tour season at Sharjah Golf and Shooting Club from March 16-18.

Another former European Ryder Cupper, reigning Senior Open champion and senior tour order of merit champion Paul Broadhurst, is also expected to compete for the $63,750 winners’ cheque in a field set to include the top 20 from last season’s money list.

Also confirmed are two-time senior major champion Roger Chapman, former moneylist winners Peter Fowler and Paul Wesselingh and Welshman Stephen Dodd, who won the 2005 World Cup of Golf.

“We are all very excited about the inaugural Sharjah Senior Golf Masters and would like to extend our grateful thanks to Shurooq for enabling our very first event in Sharjah to see the light of day,” said European Senior Tour chief David MacLaren.

“We believe that this may be the very first time that a full European Tour event of any description has been played over a nine-hole layout and this is sure to add a different and exciting dimension to a tournament that we would urge all local golf fans to support.”

Joining the elite European Senior Tour stars are Sharjah Golf & Shooting Club’s Ramli Sulaiman and Rene Larsen of Jumeirah Golf Estates who triumphed in a recent “Amateur and Professional Qualifier”, along with another local player, John Mills.