Defending champion SSP Chawrasia, runner-up Anirban Lahiri will be among the top draws for the 2017 Hero Indian Open to be held from March 9 to 12.
“I have been playing in the Indian Open since 1999. This is a very important event for all Indians. I won the tournament for the first time in 2016, and would hope to repeat the feat,” Chawrasia said.
Apart from Chawrasia and Lahiri, the $1.75 million event will also see other top Indian golfers like Jeev Milkha Singh, Arjun Atwal, Gaganjeet Bhullar, Shiv Kapur among others. However, the names international golfers for the event will be know a week before the event.
This time the tournament will be played in a new venue. From Delhi Golf Club, which hosted the event 29 times, the European and Asian Tour co-sanctioned event will move to Gary Player Course at DLF Golf and Country Club, Gurgaon.
The tournament has been played only once before at the DLF, but at the Arnold Palmer course, back in 2009 when C Muniyappa won the title. Chawrasia and Lahiri had won their maiden Indian Open titles at the Delhi Golf Club (DGF) in 2016 and 2015 respectively.
The golf course will add to the challenge, according to Jeev Milkha Singh, who has won four events on the European Tour.
“This year’s venue is going to provide a very exciting finish as this golf course requires accuracy and lot of mental strength,” Singh said.
Shiv Kapur elaborated on the challenges that golfers might face at the DLF golf course. “It is a very long course. The greens are bouncier and there are a lot of slopes. It is not a one-dimensional course. People are going to take some time to adjust to it,” he said.
“In Delhi Golf Club it was mostly about hitting the ball in the fairways for most part. At the DLF golf course, there is going to be a different test. You need to drive the ball well and be on the right sections of the greens. For me, Delhi Gold Club was like playing at the Eden Gardens while the DLF is like playing at the Lord’s or MCG,” he said.
“You can’t muster the course by just one aspect of the game. One needs to have a complete game to survive here.”