With players from India making a bigger impression than ever before in international golf, the European Tour will be making a timely stop in New Delhi for this week’s 2018 Hero Indian Open.
Shubhankar Sharma, the 21-year-old phenom and current leader of the Race to Dubai standings, leads a field which includes two-time defending champ SSP Chawrasia and 2015 champ Anirban Lahiri. Top international players in the field include Thomas Bjorn and Emiliano Grillo.
As we provide each week, here’s a round up of information and historical data about this week’s event.
Tournament: Hero Indian Open
Dates: March 8-11, 2018
Where: New Delhi, India
Course: DLF Golf and Country Club
Distance: Par 72, 7,417 yards
Architect: Arnold Palmer, renovated by Gary Player
Format: 72-holes, stroke play, 36-hole cut
Winning Share: $275,827
Defending Champion: SSP Chawrasia
Marquee Players: Chawrasia, Shubhankar Sharma, Anirban Lahiri, Thomas Bjorn, Emiliano Grillo, Thongchai Jaidee, Chris Wood, Andrew “Beef” Johnston.
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The Indian Open is one of the more established tournaments internationally, with this year being the 54th time the event will be played. Long a part of the Asian Tour, this is the fourth year it will be a co-sanctioned event with the European Tour.
World Golf Hall of Famer Peter Thomson helped establish the tournament, and was its first champion, in 1964. An Indian player, amateur P.G. Sethi, won the 1965 event, and it wasn’t again until 1991 that an Indian would again claim the title, when Ali Sher won the event.
Since then, 11 Indian players have won the title, including each of the last three years. SSP Chawrasia is the tournament’s two-time defending champion.
Title sponsor Hero Motocorp is a motorcycle and scooter manufacturer based in New Delhi, and has been affiliated with the tournament since 2005.
2011-18: Hero Indian Open
2005-10: Hero Honda Indian Open
2002-04: Royal Challenge Indian Open
1999-01: Wills Indian Open
1997-98: Classic Indian Open
1964-96: Indian Open
2017: SSP Chawrasia (-10)
2016: SSP Chawrasia (-15)
2015: Anirban Lahiri (-7)
2014: Event cancelled
2013: Siddikur Rahman (-14)
2012: Thaworn Wiratchant (-19)
2011: David Gleeson (-21)
3 – Jyoti Randhawa (2000, 2006, 2007)
3 – Peter Thomson (1964, 1974, 1976)
268 (-21) David Gleeson, 2011
SSP Chawrasia cruised to victory by seven shots, reaching double-figures at 10-under par, to run away with the 2017 title.
Perhaps it shouldn’t have such a surprise, if you believe in the theory of “horses for courses.” Chawrasia has won four times in European Tour sanctioned events, and three of those victories came on the DLF Golf and Country Club course. Besides winning Hero Indian Open titles the last two years, he also won the Avantha Masters on the same course.
In each of those two earlier victories on the course, Chawrasia reached 15-under par, so he has to be considered one of the favorites heading into this week.
FINAL TOP 5
1 SSP Chawrasia -10
2 Gavin Green -3
3 Scott Jamieson -2
3 Matteo Manassero -2
5 Rafa Cabrera Bello -1
5 Anirban Lahiri -1
5 Carlos Pigem -1
The field this week in New Delhi includes five players ranked in the top 100 in the Official Golf World Rankings, including No. 66 Shubhankar Sharma, No. 67 Joost Luiten, No. 76 Emiliano Grillo, No. 80 Aninban Lahiri, and No. 90 Chris Wood.
Other marquee players include Darren Clarke, Thomas Bjorn, Matteo Manassero, Shiv Kapur, SSP Chawrasia, Andrew “Beef” Johnston and Thongchai Jaidee.
Credits: European Tour Media, Getty Images