In these hard times, comes a spot of good news. This year's Hero Honda Indian Open will offer a prize money of $1.25 million (Rs 6.1 crore approximately), up 25 per cent from last year's $1 million (Rs 4.8 crore).
While Hero Honda officials refused to comment, saying: “A statement will be made at the press briefing on the 15th (September),” a source told HT on Friday that the company had already informed the Asian Tour, which co-sanctions the October 8-11 event, of the hike.
“Ideally, the company would have liked some mileage by making the announcement on the day of the press conference, but intimating the Asian Tour is essential as the players need to know the details of the event,” he said.
At the time of announcing last year's edition, which saw the purse jump from $500,000 to a million, the sponsor had hinted that the ensuing chapters could see an upswing in the money on offer. World Sport Group (WSG), the event's promoters, confirmed the rise but refused to go beyond it. “It is the prerogative of the sponsor to make the announcement, let's leave it to them,” a WSG official said.
Ashit Luthra, president of the Indian Golf Union, which owns the event's rights, said he was awaiting confirmation from Asian Tour on the increase in prize money and change of venue, from Delhi Golf Club to the DLF Golf & Country Club, Gurgaon. “We have given the commercial rights to the Asian Tour, which in turn has given it to the WSG. We are expecting a letter from them by tomorrow,” he said.