New Delhi, February 15: Charismatic Spanish golfer Rafa Cabrera Bello has confirmed his participation in the 2017 Hero Indian Open next month.
The 32-year-old, popularly known as “Rafa”, has established himself as one of the most consistent golfers on the European Tour.
From world number 114 in December 2015, he rose to 27th at the end of December 2016 and is now ranked 25th in the world. Last year, he enjoyed six top-10 finishes, including three second places – in Qatar, Dubai and Hong Kong – and missed just one cut in 27 starts around the world.
Interestingly, Cabrera Bello will be the best current (at the time of the Hero Indian Open) ranked player to play at the Hero Indian Open, which will be held from March 9 to 12 at the Gary Player-designed DLF Golf & Country Club.
He also played at the Rio Olympic Games and finished fifth. At the Ryder Cup he scored 2.5 points from three matches, winning his fourball in the company of Sergio Garcia against J.B. Holmes and Ryan Moore. The Spaniards halved the point in foursomes against Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed, before Cabrera Bello beat Jimmy Walker in the singles to complete a great debut.
This year Cabrera Bello had a great start in the Middle East with three top-20 finishes – T19 in Abu Dhabi, T6 in Qatar and T11 in Dubai. Cabrera Bello is the second highest world ranked Spaniard after Garcia, who is now in the world’s top-10.
“The Hero Indian Open has been a last minute addition to my schedule. In fact I only confirmed for the tournament last week and I am looking forward to it,” said Cabrera Bello, who enjoys other outdoors sports like surfing, skiing and spending time with family and friends.
As part of the golfing elite, he will be featuring in the World Golf Championships in Mexico from where he will fly to India. He said: “It is going to be a long flight from Mexico to India, but I am looking forward to it.
“Modestly I am going to say that I have good results all over world also. So why not in Asia. Sometimes I find it difficult to adapt to the greens. I particularly like softer grass, but I also enjoy the challenge of playing on all surfaces, that makes you a better player and that is also one my goals.”
“The Hero Indian Open has been a last minute addition to my schedule. In fact I only confirmed for the tournament last week and I am looking forward to it.” – Rafa Cabrera Bello
As for winning, he added, “I have to be patient. My game is good, and I could win any week, or I could even go longer without a win. I don’t want to stress about it, I just want to keep playing my golf, keep making cuts, putting myself in contention and just one day it will happen again.”
Cabrera Bello’s record at the WGC is very good, having finished in Top-20 in the three he played in 2016. He was third at WGC Dell Matchplay, where he lost in the semi-finals to Louis Oosthuizen, but beat Rory McIlroy in the fight for the third place. He was also 11th at WGC-Cadillac and T-19 at WGC-HSBC.
As for the quality of Indian players, Cabrera Bello added, “I know Indian players are very good in India. I have played with guys like Jeev Milkha, SSP (Chawrasia), Shiv (Kapur) and Anirban (Lahiri). They are strong players, they play in a natural way and don’t have a mechanical swing, almost self-taught in way. Great to see them and others coming up.”
About Hero MotoCorp
Hero MotoCorp is the world’s largest two-wheeler manufacturer in terms of unit volumes sold by a single company in a year – the coveted position it has held for the past 16 consecutive years. The New Delhi (India)-headquartered Hero MotoCorp sold over 6.6 million two-wheelers in the Financial Year 2015-16. The Company has sold over 70 million motorcycles and scooters in cumulative sales since its inception. Hero MotoCorp currently sells its products in 35 countries across Asia, Africa and South and Central America.
Hero MotoCorp has five state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities – four of which are in India, while its first global facility became operational at Villa Rica in Colombia in September 2015. The Company’s second manufacturing facility at a global location is coming up in Bangladesh. Hero MotoCorp’s world class state-of-the-art R&D facility – the Centre of Innovation and Technology (CIT) – is located in the northern Indian state of Rajasthan.
Hero MotoCorp has been associated with various disciplines of sports including golf, cricket, field hockey and soccer for over two decades. Fourteen-times major winner Tiger Woods is Hero’s Global Corporate Partner. Hero MotoCorp hosts the Tiger Woods invitational and PGA-sanctioned tournament – the Hero World Challenge – in Bahamas. Hero is also a partner of the British Masters.
About Asian Tour
As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include ECCO (Official Footwear Sponsor), FENIX XCell (Official Apparel Supplier), Hilton Worldwide (Official Hotel Partner), Titleist (Official Web Partner), Bloomberg TV (Official International Media Sponsor), Bloomberg Businessweek Chinese (Official Business Publication Sponsor) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). Sentosa, Singapore is the Home of the Asian Tour which also has an office in Kuala Lumpur.
About The European Tour
The European Tour celebrates men’s professional golf on a global stage. In 2017, the European Tour International Schedule features a minimum of 48 tournaments in 26 countries, all part of the Race to Dubai, the year-long competition which crowns the European Tour Number One at the end of the season, a title claimed in 2016 by Henrik Stenson for the second time.
Since its formation in 1972, the European Tour has witnessed 27 Members celebrate a total of 53 Major Championship titles between them, enjoyed ten Members attaining the pinnacle of World Number One and has celebrated its diversity as players from 36 different countries have won on the Tour.
The European Tour also manages the Challenge Tour, which featured 28 tournaments in 22 countries in 2016, and the Senior Tour, which featured 13 tournaments in nine countries in 2016. It is also the Managing Partner of Ryder Cup Europe, the body which, alongside the PGA of America, administers golf’s greatest team contest, The Ryder Cup.
The European Tour broadcasts live coverage of its tournaments to more than 490 million homes in more than 150 countries every week, generating in excess of 2,200 global broadcast hours for each event. It also enjoys the support of many of the world’s leading business brands with Rolex, BMW, Jumeirah Golf Estates, Emirates and Titleist as Official Partners.
About Nimbus Sport:
Nimbus Sport is the full service sports marketing division of Nimbus Communications Ltd., specializing in Rights Distribution and Management, Television Production, Sponsorship Services and Event Management.
Nimbus Sport has been involved in managing rights transactions worth over USD 3 billion to date, among the largest in Asia. It has extensive experience of rights management and/or television production with multiple sports federations and dozens of major sponsors. It is a leading producer of World Feeds of Live sports events with over 4500 hours of Live content delivered and also manages best-in-class sports events.