European Tour: Hero Indian Open Preview

Golfer admires his shot

We preview the Hero Indian Open which is set to take place between 8 March and 11 March at the DLF Golf and Country Club. 

The European Tour returns to the scene of the crime this week- so to speak. The move from the ever popular Delhi Golf Course to the Gary Player designed DLF Course was a source of major consternation last week, with Chawrasia’s seven-shot winning margin of -7 highlighting the almost farcical nature of the course. 

The Indian Open’s inception came in 1964, with tournament brainchild Peter Thompson winning the inaugural title. Ever a fixture on the Asian Tour, the event officially became a co-sanctioned European Tour event in 2015, lending it far more lustre and a higher profile.

Hero Indian Open | 8 March - 11 March | The Gary Player Course, DLF Country Club

The DLF Golf and Country Club was touted last year as a 7,600 yard monster, though a shambolic set-up resulted in mid-range tees being utilized, making it impossible to say for sure what the true distance was. It’s said to measure 7,379 yards this year, but let’s wait and see. It’s a completely Bermuda set-up, with gently undulating fairways and large, undulating greens. The stimp measures a fairly standard 11-12. The idiosyncratic course left many professionals flustered last season, with halfway leader Eddie Pepperell stating that the course “had been designed by Satan.” 

Defending champion Chawrasia will feel confident on the back of a seven-shot victory last season. Anirbhan Lahiri brings a certain US panache to proceedings following a strong introduction to the PGA Tour. 12 out of the past 26 champions have been Indian, though that stat may be in danger due to a slightly stronger field than usual this week, owing to the general lack of European Tour activity over the next month. 


Past Winners
2017: S.S.P Chawrasia (-7)
2016: S.S.P Chawrasia (-15)
2015: Anirban Lahiri (-7)*playoff
2014: Siddikur Rahma (-14)
2013: Thawarn Wiratchant (-14)

To Win Outright: 
Chris Wood 14/1 | Joost Luiten 14/1 | Shubankar Sharma 14/1 | Emiliano Grillo 16/1 | Anirban Lahiri 16/1

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Value Bets

Andrew Johnston- To Win 30/1, To Place 13/2
It would seem that- given the schizophrenic nature of this course- that a sound, easy-going temperament would probably be a good tool around this course. Johnston’s creative short game will come in handy when the ball bounces off the characteristic nooks and crannies that define this course. He also has been in decent form of late, with a T-9 in Abu Dhabi followed by a T-12th in Oman. ‘Beef’ could be the type of unflappable character who will revel in the unpredictability of the course, and he will no doubt attract a huge gallery. 

Adilson Da Silva- To Win 140/1, To Place 30/1
The journeyman Brazilian is hardly the most prolific player in the world, but 12 victories on the Sunshine Tour show a willingness to compete. But he has shown decent recent form, with an 11th place finish in Tshwane Open hot on the heels of a 13th place finish a fortnight earlier. He had a credible 21st place finish in this event last year and has a brilliant record in India. He has made nine cuts in ten visits, including eight top 30 finishes. He also had the best final round last year with a 67, indicating that he could be growing familiar with the course. 

Poom Sakansin- To Win 100/1, To Place 22/1
The Young Thai player is one of the more consistent of the young Asian stars, and he managed a decent 22nd place last year. The 24 year-old is an accurate, short-type player who would ostensibly not suit this course, but the course parameters this week are really impossible to gauge. He has made five out of his last six cuts, including two excellent top 20 finishes in the Hong Kong Open and the Omega European Masters- an event which had a far more illustrious field than this. 

The Man to Beat- Anirban Lahiri- To Win 16/1, To Place 7/2
It’s hard to look past a player who has taking to the PGA Tour like a duck to water. Lahiri, the 2015 champion, managed to come to terms with the course last year, overcoming an indifferent start to eventually finish fifth. He was also runner-up to Chawrasia in 2016, giving him added motivation to prevent Chawrasia from a three-peat. He has an amazing record in his homeland of India, finishing inside the top 10 in 11 of his last 15 visits to the country. He just looks like great value at 16/1, especially considering the illustrious company he has been keeping of late. 

Written by Damien Kayat for @Hollywoodbets

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