Sharma and Lahiri to lock horns with Stone and Wiesberger at the Hero Indian Open

Thu 14 Mar 2019

Sharma and Lahiri to lock horns with Stone and Wiesberger at the Hero Indian Open


New Delhi, March 14: The 2019 edition of the Hero Indian Open, which is India’s flagship golf tournament and country’s longest running international sports event, will see some of the most well-known golfers from around the world vie for top honors.

To be played on the Gary Player layout at the DLF Golf and Country Club in Gurugram from March 28 to 31, the 2019 edition will be the 14th consecutive year that Hero MotoCorp Ltd, the world’s largest two-wheeler manufacturer and one of the biggest corporate promoters of sports around the world, is supporting the tournament.

Top Indian golfer and reigning Asian Tour Order of Merit champion Shubhankar Sharma together with compatriot Anirban Lahiri, who lifted the coveted Order of Merit title in 2015 as well as reigning Scottish Open champion Brandon Stone will be seen in action in the 55th edition of the Hero Indian Open.

The other notable players who have confirmed their participation in the most lucrative golf tournament in India carrying a prize purse of US$1.75 million, include Andrew Johnston - the Runner-Up of the Hero Indian Open 2018, and Bernd Wiesberger, with four European Tour wins to his credit.

At the Hero Indian Open 2018, 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 Englishman Matt Wallace. This year, Johnston will be aiming to lift the coveted winner’s trophy, besides treating himself to his favourite Indian dishes.

Golf fans in the country will also get to see Brandon Stone, who won the 2018 Scottish Open with a stunning final round of 10-under 60.

Also in the fray will be Bernd Wiesberger - the most successful Austrian player on the European Tour – who beat European Tour Number one Tommy Fleetwood in a play-off at the 2017 Shenzhen International. Wiesberger has also been a member of the past two winning European teams at the EurAsia Cup.

With less than two weeks to go before the tournament, the entries are still coming in. Other Indian players such as S.S.P. Chawrasia, the resurgent duo of Shiv Kapur and Rahil Gangjee, and youngsters Ajeetesh Sandhu, Viraj Madappa, Khalin Joshi and S Chikkarangappa are also expected to be seen in action.

J. Narain, Advisor (Sports), Hero MotoCorp, said, “It is truly heartening to see such a strong Indian contingent and a world class field at the Hero Indian Open 2019. This will certainly attract more youngsters and budding golfers to come and watch the tournament, which in turn will contribute immensely towards the long-term growth of the game. At Hero MotoCorp, we have been the 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, PVSM, UYSM, AVSM, YSM, SM, President, The Indian Golf Union, said, “The Indian Golf Union is extremely 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.”

Ben Cowen, Deputy Chief Operating Officer - International, European Tour said, “We are extremely excited for the fifth edition of the Hero Indian Open as part of the European Tour International Schedule and we are looking forward to returning to the wonderful surroundings of DLF Golf and Country Club. Every golf tournament is indebted to its sponsors and that is particularly the case with Hero MotoCorp and their inspirational Chairman, MD and CEO Mr Pawan Munjal. Mr Munjal’s relationship with the European Tour, not just at this tournament, but through the innovative Hero Challenge and many other projects, is second to none, and we thank him for his vision and commitment to our sport. We must also acknowledge the owners of this historical event, the Indian Golf Union, for their hard work in continuing to grow golf in this great country.”

Aakash Ohri, Sr. Executive Director, DLF Home Developers Ltd, said, “The Gary Player course at the DLF Golf & Country Club has the unique distinction of being the venue for both the men’s and women’s Indian Opens, which have been so well supported by Hero MotoCorp. The course, which is in pristine condition thanks to our hard-working green keeping staff, has proved to be a challenge for the best pros over the last few years and has been appreciated by all. The Hero Indian Open, the country's marquee golf tournament will enter in its 55th edition this year and we look forward to another exciting edition of the Hero Indian Open later this month.” 

Cho Minn Thant, Asian Tour Chief Operating 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 S.S.P 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.”

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.

Thomson, five-time British Open winner, 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.

The Hero Indian Open has provided a superb platform for home grown talent to showcase their abilities alongside the top global stars and take a faster path to stardom. The event has nine Indian winners, who among them have won the title 13 times. Since Hero took over the sponsorship in 2005, the previous 13 editions have produced six Indian winners.

The Indian winners have been: P.G. Sethi (amateur - 1965); Ali Sher (1991 and 1993); Feroze Ali (1998), Arjun Atwal (1999), Jyoti Randhawa (2000, 2006, 2007); Vijay Kumar (2002); Chinnaswamy Muniyappa (2009); Anirban Lahiri (2015), SSP Chawrasia (2016, 2017).

About Asian Tour
As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of professional 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. The Tour is officially recognised by the Official World Golf Rankings and provides its events with valuable ranking points for participants to be recognised on the world stage. Tour Partners include Rolex (Official Timekeeper), Panasonic (Official Consumer Electronics), Habitat for Humanity (Official Sustainable Development Partner), Titleist (Official Web Partner), FootJoy (Supplier), Bloomberg TV (Official International Media Partner), Bloomberg Businessweek Chinese (Official International Media Partner), Wall Street Journal (Official International Media Partner) and Sentosa in Singapore, Home of the Asian Tour which also has an office in Kuala Lumpur. The Tour is an affiliate of The R&A.