Star-studded cast primed for #HIO2017

Fri 03 Mar 2017

Star-studded cast primed for #HIO2017

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New Delhi, March 3: A power-packed line-up of Asian Tour stars consisting of nearly 40 Tour champions and eight Order of Merit winners will motor full speed to next week’s US$1.75 million Hero Indian Open.
Reigning Asian Tour number one Scott Hend of Australia will spearhead the stellar cast alongside many of the region’s top stars including India’s Anirban Lahiri, Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Filipino Miguel Tabuena, Chinese Taipei’s Chan Shih-chang and Bangladeshi trailblazer Siddikur Rahman.
Seven players featuring in the current top-10 of the Order of Merit including Thai teen phenom Phachara Khongwatmai and India’s Shubhankar Sharma will also tee up at the DLF Golf and Country Club from March 9 to 12 and challenge for the Hero Indian Open title held by S.S.P. Chawrasia.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand
Four of this season’s winners on the Asian Tour, Thai veteran Prayad Marksaeng and Jazz Janewattananond, Australian Todd Sinnott and Brett Rumford will also be shooting for their second victory of the year. Collectively, all tour champions featuring in the Hero Indian Open have won over 125 victories.
Long-hitting Hend, the first Australian to become Asia’s number one, will be eager to put on a strong showing at DLF to enhance his chances of qualifying for the WGC-Dell Match Play and also the year’s first Major, the Masters Tournament.
Currently ranked 68th in the world, he needs to break into the top-50 the week prior to the Masters to qualify. Hence, Hend, who is competing in the WGC-Mexico Championship this week, has committed to take the trip to Delhi in search of a 10th Asian Tour victory and Official World Golf Ranking points.
In the past 10 editions of the Hero Indian Open, Indian golfers have won five times and Lahiri will be aiming to land his second tournament victory after his memorable triumph in 2015, the year he became the Asian Tour Order of Merit champion.
“The win is definitely up there. It’s one of the most special feelings. We call it our fifth Major. It’s as special as any other victories but maybe it ranks above everything else that I’ve done,” said Lahiri.
The 29-year-old believes the tournament’s move to the Gary Player-designed DLF course would ensure a more level playing field.
“I would say it would not be as Indian dominated if the event was held at Delhi Golf Club. DLF is more parkland and more like the European-style courses. It’s going to be more open and longer holes, not as demanding off the tee as with DGC. You might not see a leaderboard littered with Indian names. But It’ll be great to keep the Indian Open in India,” he said.
“The win is definitely up there. It’s one of the most special feelings. We call it our fifth Major. It’s as special as any other victories but maybe it ranks above everything else that I’ve done.” - Anirban Lahiri.

“It’s 18 new holes which won’t be the same as to what we’ve played on previously. I don’t know what to expect. I’ll be playing it the first time when I get there.”
India will be strongly represented with the likes of Gaganjeet Bhullar, Jyoti Randhawa, Arjun Atwal, Jeev Milkha Singh, Chikkaranggapa S., Mukesh Kumar and Rahil Gangjee amongst those expected to launch a title challenge in their home Open, which is co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour.
Jazz Janewattananond of Thailand Jazz Janewattananond of Thailand
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), 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.