New Delhi, India: Shubhankar Sharma and Anirban Lahiri are headlining this week’s Hero Indian Open, India’s flagship golf tournament and the country’s longest-running international sports event.
To be played on the Gary Player-designed layout at the DLF Golf and Country Club (March 28-31), the 2019 edition is the 14th consecutive year that Hero MotoCorp Ltd is supporting the tournament.
Top Indian golfer and reigning Asian Tour Order of Merit champion Sharma together with compatriot Lahiri, who lifted the Order of Merit title in 2015, as well as reigning Scottish Open champion Brandon Stone will be in action in the 55th edition of the Hero Indian Open.
Other notable players who have confirmed their participation in the US$1.75 million event include Andrew Johnston and four-time European Tour winner Bernd Wiesberger.
At last year’s Hero Indian Open, Johnston came within a whisker of winning the tournament, rallying from a two-shot deficit in the final round to get into a play-off, before losing to fellow-Englishman Matt Wallace.
Cho Minn Thant, the Asian Tour’s Acting Chief Executive Officer, said: “On behalf of the Tour and our players, I would like to extend our fullest appreciation to Hero MotoCorp and the Indian Golf Union for their support in growing this historic event over the years.
“Since its inauguration in 1964, the Hero Indian Open has a long history of boasting a stellar field and propelling the careers of the finest talents in the country including tournament winners SSP Chawrasia and Anirban Lahiri. India’s number one Shubhankar Sharma, came close to winning his national Open with a record-breaking 64 in the second round last year, and the reigning Habitat for Humanity Standings winner is now excelling on the global stage.”
J. Narain, Advisor (Sports), Hero MotoCorp, said: “At Hero MotoCorp, we have been title sponsor of the Hero Indian Open for close to a decade and half and we remain firmly committed to the promotion of golf in India and around the world.”
Lt Gen D. Anbu, President of the Indian Golf Union (IGU), said: “The Indian Golf Union is pleased to announce the 2019 edition of the Indian Open. This is the flagship property of the Union and the most important event in showcasing IGU’s strategy in growing the game’s footprint in India.
“Hero MotoCorp has been a steadfast supporter of the Indian Open and we are proud of this partnership, as we are with the European Tour, which has sanctioned the event. The event’s rich history and its eminent, past winners will encourage its continued growth and we look forward to keen competition and a worthy winner.”
The 2019 Hero Indian Open will also mark the first time the event will be held since the passing away of its inaugural winner, the legendary Peter Thomson, who was also instrumental in making the Indian Open popular.
Five-time British Open winner Thomson also won the Indian Open three times, in 1964, 1966 and 1976. Thomson, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1988, passed away on June 20, 2018, at the age of 88.