The European Tour travels to Delhi Golf Club in New Delhi this week. Home player Anirban Lahiri defends the Hero Indian Open and a strong field has assembled.
The Indian Open has been a fixture on the Asian Tour since 1970 and, in fact, this will be the 52nd running of the contest. The inaugural tournament was hosted at Delhi Golf Club back in 1964 and was won by five-time Open champion Peter Thomson.
The event has seen some interesting winners over the years – Graham Marsh of Australia was twice a winner in the early 1970s. Gaylord Burrows of the USA was the champion in 1979 and the late Payne Stewart took the title in 1981 – his first professional win.
This is just the second year the tournament has featured on the European Tour circuit. In 2015 it was home favourite Anirban Lahiri who came out on top after a playoff against his countryman SSP Chawrasia.
Lahiri defends the Hero Indian Open title but he’ll face strong competition from a field that features many of the European and Asian Tour’s best players. Padraig Harrington tees it up this week, so too do Tommy Fleetwood, Joost Luiten, George Coetzee and last week’s winner Scott Hend.
Tommy Fleetwood swing sequence:
The home nation will be well represented with Lahiri, Jeev Milkha Singh, Arjun Atwal, SSP Chawrasia, Shiv Kapur, Gaganjeet Bhullar, Rashid Khan, Rahil Gangjee, Himmat Rai and Chiragh Kumar amongst others on the start sheet.
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.
The weather looks set fair with temperatures into the low 30s celsius.
Venue: Delhi Golf Club, New Delhi, India
Date: Mar 17-20
Course stats: par 72, 6,983 yards
Defending Champion: Anirban Lahiri (-7)
Thursday 17 – Sky Sports 4 from 9am
Friday 18 – Sky Sports 4 from 9am
Saturday 19 – Sky Sports 4 from 7am
Sunday 20 – Sky Sports 4 from 6.30am
Marcus Fraser – The Australian was a winner in Malaysia just three weeks ago and he was joint third in this event last year. His game is suited to this narrow and tricky course.
Prayad Marksaeng – The veteran from Thailand turned 50 earlier this year but top 15 finishes in both Malaysia and Thailand last week prove that he can still mix it at the top of the board. He was also tied for third in this event last year.
Richard McEvoy – He was tied seventh in this event last year but finished just two shots back. He’s one of the straightest hitters on the European Tour and is currently ranked third in driving accuracy. That is key around this track.
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.