New Delhi, 20-02-2020
STRONG MIX OF INDIAN & INTERNATIONAL CHALLENGE SET FOR 2020 EDITION OF HERO INDIAN OPEN
A strong Indian contingent comprising numerous European and Asian Tour champions will take on an equally strong international star cast as the 56th edition of the Hero Indian Open tees off next month. The flagship event of Indian golf - which is also the longest-running international event in India - will be held from March 19-22, 2020 and carry a prize purse of US$ 1.75 million.
This will be the 15th successive edition to be sponsored by motorcycle market leader Hero MotoCorp, who took over the title sponsorship in 2005. It also marks the 25th year of Hero MotoCorp’s association with golf.
Almost all top Indian golfers - including past champions such as SSP Chawrasia (2016 and 2017), Anirban Lahiri (2015) and three-time winner Jyoti Randhawa (2000, 2006 and 2007) - will be seen in action in this edition of the Hero Indian Open. Proven and established champions such as Shiv Kapur, Rashid Khan, Rahil Gangjee, Shubhankar Sharma and many others will also be in the fray at Gary Player layout at the gorgeous DLF Golf and Country Club in Gurugram.
Giving the established players a run for their money will be the likes of Udayan Mane, who has won the last three events on the domestic tour and risen to 241 in the world. Viraj Madappa, Khalin Joshi, S Chikkarangappa, Ajeetesh Sandhu, Aman Raj, Kshitij Naveed Kaul, Karandeep Kochhar, Veer Ahlawat, Yuvraj Sandhu and others will all be hoping to strike it big at India’s biggest golfing event.
The field for HIO 2020 will feature a quartet of fresh, young talent with Justin Suh of the United States, a former world number 1 amateur; Akshay Bhatia, a golfer of Indian origin who represents the US and is a much-decorated amateur. Denmark’s Nicolai Hojgaard and Matthew Jordan of England are two other young golfers, who could make the week their own.
The European Tour has been a partner by co-sanctioning the event with Asian Tour and this year will see the great Dane Thomas Bjorn, the winning captain of 2018 European Ryder Cup team in Gurgaon, along with Dutch golfer Joost Luiten, a six-time European Tour winner and Andy Sullivan, a three-time European Tour winner. Leading the European challenge will be the defending champion, Stephen Gallacher, who had his son, Jack, on the bag when he won last year.
Indian golfers have established themselves as strong challengers on the Asian Tour and have been regular winners. Despite not adding any silverware in 2019, the Indian golfers finished runner-up and in Top-3 numerous times.
Thailand, as usual, will be sending a strong and young contingent with many Asian Tour winners. With entries still coming in, other names will soon be confirmed.
The DLF Golf and Country Club has become the home of Indian Opens – both for men and women. The course conditions, the layout as also the sheer ambience of DLF, makes it a favourite with the golfers. The challenging layout at the Gary Player’s Black Knight course, adds to the charm and brings out the best in the top golfers.
After three Indian winners from 2015 to 2017 – two of them won by Chawrasia, who also has four other runner-up finishes at the event – the past two editions have seen winners from the United Kingdom. Matt Wallace became the first Englishman to win in 2018 and Gallacher became the first Scotsman to put his name on the historic Trophy. With this being the Olympic year, it is expected two Indians will make the grade. The tussle for those two spots is intense and there is a long list of players, who can grab those spots, even though Rashid, Khan, Udayan Mane and Shubhankar Sharma are the current top three.
Formed in 2006, Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) is the recognised official body of professional golf in India. PGTI's objective is to promote professional golf in the country, as well as to give players an opportunity to be involved in the decision making on all aspects of the game. Headed by Mr. Gautam Thapar (President), PGTI's governing body comprises leading Indian golf professionals. PGTI currently has over 300 members.
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