A high quality Indian challenge will once again take on the best of Asia in the Hero Indian Open golf, one of the most prestigious events on the Asian Tour, starting here from October 13 to 16, 2011.
The 48th edition of India’s oldest-running sports event comes at a time when Indian golf is at its strongest. With four young champions on three different international Tours, Indian golf has been on a high this year. All four, including SSP Chowrasia, the current leader on the Asian Tour Order of Merit, will be teeing up at the historic Delhi Golf Club (DGC) in one of the richest full-field events on the Asian Tour carrying a prize purse of US$ 1.25 million. The other Indians winners this season are Gaganjeet Bhullar, Anirban Lahiri and Himmat Rai.
Mr. Rohit Amin, President of the Indian Golf Union, said, “The Hero Indian Open Golf Championship is the flagship event of Indian golf. The National Open in any country evokes a great deal of excitement, not only because of the high quality of the field, but also because of the importance attached to the National title. I have, time and again heard India’s top players say that the Indian Open is like a Major for them, and who doesn’t want to be called the best golfer in the country.
“With the Tournament dating back to 1964 and this being the oldest running annual international sports event in the country, it gives me and the IGU immense pride to see the the Indian Open having grown to such a stature, The Indian Golf Union is grateful to Hero MotoCorp for their continued support in sponsoring the event” added Mr. Amin.
Randhawa, who is now concentrating on the Asian Tour, has endured a tough season and will relish a return to the Delhi Golf Club, where he has been very successful in the past. Two of his three Indian Open titles have come at the DGC.
Bhullar, 23, the new face of Indian golf, has produced results, which mark him as the man for the future. Lahiri and Himmat, both 24, have also shown great promise and with their maiden Asian Tour titles in the bag, they are on way to greater heights.
The defending champion Swede Rikard Karlberg, whose two wins on Asian Tour have both come at the DGC, is not going to let go of this chance. He won the title in an exciting battle last year and had earlier won the SAIL Open at the same venue.
Also expected to contend and be in the thick of action is Thaworn Wiratchant, who has 12 Asian Tour titles against his name and is looking to catch up fellow Thai, Thongchai Jaidee, who holds the record of 13.
One of India’s eternal golfing heroes, Ali Sher’s Indian Open win in 1991 was the first by an Indian professional in the event. This year Indian golf and Ali Sher celebrate the 20th anniversary of India’s first international win by a professional. In the two decades since, Indians have won more than 50 titles on Asian, European, Japan and US Tours.