Harrington ready to soar #HeroIndianOpen

Wed 16 Mar 2016

Harrington ready to soar #HeroIndianOpen

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Delhi, March 15: Major champion Padraig Harrington of Ireland is hoping for a successful debut at the Hero Indian Open as he makes a welcome return to the country for the first time since 1992.
Harrington, who last played in India at the Amateur Golf Championship of India in Calcutta, will be among the elite field at the US$1.66 million event sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour which starts on Thursday.
The three-time Major champion will headline the event staged at the Delhi Golf Club alongside title holder Anirban Lahiri of India, ranked 52nd in the world, Jeev Milkha Singh of India, a two-time Asian Tour number one, and an in-form Scott Hend of Australia, who won in Thailand last week.
Jeev Milkha Singh of India Jeev Milkha Singh of India
With multiple victories worldwide including four wins in Asia, Harrington is excited to challenge for the prestigious Hero Indian Open trophy at the tree-lined Delhi course.
“It is difficult off the tees. You get the ball going the wrong way and it might end up into the trees. A lot of intimidating factor off the tees but the goal is conservative off the tees and aggressive attacking the greens.
“You have to accept that you will make a few mistakes which results in double bogeys but hopefully you make enough birdies to counter that,” said the 44-year-old Harrington.
“I’ve heard players say they’ve taken out the driver but if I need to make eagle on the last hole then I will be hitting driver. I got to have that club in my bag and that option if I’m chasing with nine holes to go,” he added.
Having played in Asia since the 1990s, Harrington will not take his chances lightly against the stellar field where six players ranked inside the world’s top-100 and more than 30 Asian Tour champions are contending this week.
“It is a strong field, probably stronger than I imagined. By choice, a lot of European players have come here. It is perfect scheduling time. I fully expected a strong Asian Tour presence and I see a lot of familiar faces from Europe,” he said.
“I’m looking to be in contention. Every week I go out there, I look to be in contention heading into the last nine holes. I know if I did that every week, then I know I will have enough wins by the end of the year that I’ll be happy with. The goal is to have a chance and feel the pressure on Sunday,” added Harrington.
After securing his first time top-10 result in three years in Thailand last week, Singh, a six-time Asian Tour winner, hopes to return to the winner’s circle for the first time since 2012.
“It’s been three years that I have won anything. But last week was a jumpstart and that has given me a lot of confidence. I have gone through long periods of title drought in the past but I’ve overcome that. I am hoping that the balls will start rolling in again,” Singh smiled.
Rashid Khan of India Rashid Khan of India
Playing at the Hero Indian Open brings back some fond memories for the Singh, who was also Team Asia’s captain for the EurAsia Cup earlier this year.
“I have been playing at the DGC since I was nine years old. Though, I have not won here, I look forward to changing that. The key is to manage the course and you got to be positive over here. It’s very easy to get frustrated on this course, but it’s important to quickly put the bad shots behind and do the right things,” he explained.
Local favourite Rashid Khan will put his home course knowledge to good use as he aims for a third Asian Tour victory and a second title at the Delhi course. After making two cuts in four appearances early this year, Khan hopes to get off to a flying start at the Hero Indian Open.
“I’ve achieved a lot on this golf course and I’ll keep doing what I’ve been doing. I won’t change the way I play on this course. Some players use driver and some don’t but I have a plan here and I’ll keep doing what I’ve been doing.
“There are a lot of good player this week so it will be fun playing against them. Hopefully I can get into the mix on Sunday and have a chance to win,” said Khan, who won his first Asian Tour title in Delhi in 2014.
Ends.
About Hero MotorCorp Ltd
For 15 consecutive years, Hero MotoCorp has remained the world's largest two-wheeler manufacturer in terms of unit volumes sold in a calendar year by a single company. The company sold over 6.63 million two-wheelers in the financial year 2014-15. The New Delhi, India-headquartered Hero MotoCorp currently sells its range of motorcycles and scooters in 26 countries spread across Asia, Africa and South and Central America. By the year 2020, Hero aims to be present in 50 countries.
For over two decades, Hero has been associated with various disciplines of sports including golf, cricket, football and hockey. In the biggest-ever celebrity brand endorsement initiative by an Indian company, Hero MotoCorp in 2014 signed on 14 times Major champion Tiger Woods as its Global Corporate Partner. Top Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri is also a Hero Brand Ambassador.
Hero has been sponsoring the men?s Indian Open since 2005 and the Women?s Indian Open since 2010. Hero also sponsors India?s domestic Pro Tour for women. Hero last year became the title sponsor of the Tiger Woods Invitational - the PGA-sanctioned Hero World Challenge.
About the 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), Fuji Xerox (Official Office Solutions Partner), Hilton Worldwide (Official Hotel Partner), Titleist (Official Web Partner) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). Sentosa, Singapore is the Home of the Asian Tour which also has an office in Kuala Lumpur. Also, visit us at www.asiantour.com, www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf , www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf , www.youtube.com/theasiantour and www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf.
About European Tour
The European Tour is committed to celebrating the game of golf from the origins of the professional game, building a proud history of achievement, sportsmanship and integrity as well as showcasing our diverse global talent and rich landscapes. The European Tour's innovative approach enables us to embrace the world, combining championships of tradition with new tournaments in the cities and countries of the future. The European Tour International Schedule, which from 2009 has incorporated The Race to Dubai, is a thriving global brand which, in 2015, will feature a minimum of 47 tournaments spread across five continents; the European Challenge Tour focuses on the up and coming players of the future; while the European Senior Tour provides a new start for champions celebrating their 50th birthday. The European Tour?s corporate identity features the iconic silhouette image of six-time Open Champion Harry Vardon who gives his name to The Harry Vardon Trophy, presented to the player who is crowned European Tour Number One and winner of The Race to Dubai at the end of the season.