The European Tour heads for the subcontinent this week and the Hero Indian Open at Delhi Golf Club. It’s the first time this event has featured on the European Tour.

Lowdown:
The European Tour heads for the subcontinent this week and the Hero Indian Open at Delhi Golf Club. It’s the first time this event has featured on the European Tour.

The Indian Open was first contested in 1964 when five-time Open champion Peter Thomson came out on top at Delhi Golf Club. The event became part of the Asian Tour in 1970 and Hero took over sponsorship in 2005. The tournament was last contested in 2013 when Mohammad Siddikur of Bangladesh took the victory.

The course at Delhi Golf Club was opened for play in 1951. It was originally designed by General J.H Wilkinson but was re-designed by Peter Thomson in the 1970s. It’s a flat layout with extremely narrow fairways lined by trees and bushes – accuracy will be of paramount importance this week.

This will be the 28th time that Delhi Golf Club has played host to the Indian Open. Past winners at the venue include Graham Marsh, Gaylord Burrows, Jyoti Randhawa in consecutive years and Liang Wen-Chong.

The home nation will be well represented this week, with 36 players on the start sheet. Shiv Kapur will be a favourite with the local fans. He grew up playing at Delhi Golf Club, the tournament is supported by his sponsor and he goes into the event with good form, having finished 11th last week in Thailand.

“It’s at my home club, it’s my sponsor and it’s my national Open, so I’ve got three reasons to win,” he said. “I’m looking forward to it and it’s nice to have found some form going into it. It’s my sixth week in a row playing, so I’ll be battling a bit of fatigue, but it’s nice to be coming off a good finish. I’ll be sleeping in my own bed and will have my mum’s cooking, so it’ll be great. I probably won’t need to play a practice round because it’s my home club. I’ll be playing the course I’ve played nearly every day of my life since I learned to play golf.”

Another Indian player who will come into his home open with some confidence is Anirban Lahiri who won the Maybank Malaysian Open two weeks ago. Other home players who might feature include: Jeev Milkha Singh, Arjun Atwal, Jyoti Randhawa and SSP Chowrasia.

Evergreen Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez is one of the European Tour stars teeing it up this week.

The weather forecast for the week looks set fair, although there could be morning fog for the early starters to contend with.

Venue: Delhi Golf Club, New Delhi, India
Date: Feb 19-22
Course stats: par 72, 7,014 yards
Purse: €1,325,000 Winner: €218,512
Defending Champion: Mohammad Siddikur (-12)

TV Coverage:
Thursday 19 – Sky Sports 4 from 9am
Friday 20 – Sky Sports 4 from 9am
Saturday 21 – Sky Sports 4 from 7am
Sunday 22 – Sky Sports 4 from 6.30am

Player Watch:
Wade Ormsby – The Australian comes into this event on good form. He was tied 11th in Malaysia then tied 7th last week in Thailand. He’s ranked 11th in driving accuracy so far this year and straight hitting will be crucial this week.

Shiv Kapur – He was tied 11th last week and he’s playing on his home course – nobody in the field knows this track as well as Kapur and that could be crucial.

Jyoti Randhawa – He played solidly last week in Thailand to finish tied 15th and he has a great record on this course. He won the Indian Open here two years consecutively in 2006 and 2007.

Key hole: 18th – A par-5 of 545 yards, the home hole will be reachable in two for many players in the field this week. However, as with most holes on the course, this one requires accuracy for both drive and approach. It could yield eagles, but it could also prove costly if a player strays off-line.