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PREVIEW: 2024 DP World Tour – Hero Indian Open

The European Tour heads to the Sub-Continent for the Hero Indian Open hosted at teh Gary PLayer Course at the DLF Golf and Country Club. Damien Kayat shares his betting preview.

Rasmus Hojgaard - DP World Tour

The European Tour heads to the Sub-Continent for the Hero Indian Open hosted at teh Gary PLayer Course at the DLF Golf and Country Club. Damien Kayat shares his betting preview.

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

20243/2024 DP World Tour
Hero Indian Open
The Gary Player Course, DLF Golf and Country Club
28 – 31 March

Jesper Svensson produced a sensational performance in Singapore last week, shooting a final round 63 to match the course record and force a play-off with Kiradech Aphibarnrat. He beat his Thai opponent on the 3rd playoff hole to secure a maiden DP World Tour title. The tour remains in Southeast Asia this week for the latest edition of the Hero Indian Open.

The Hero Indian Open

The brainchild of Aussie golfing legend Peter Thompson, the Indian Open dates all the way back to 1964. Thompson actually won the inaugural staging of this event and he would go on to win a further two titles.

The DP World Tour would ultimately join forces with the Asian Tour, co-sanctioning the event for the first time in 2015. The tricky Delhi Golf Course hosted the first two DP World Tour renewals before giving way to the current host course: the Gary Player Course at DLF Golf and Country Club. The pandemic led to a three-year hiatus but the event returned in earnest last season, with Marcel Siem holding off Yannick Paul in a keenly contested Germanic affair.

The Gary Player Course: DLF Golf and Country Club

The Gary Player Course opened in 2015 and first hosted this event in 2019. Eddie Pepperrell was hilariously quoted as saying the course was ‘designed by Satan’ (perhaps there is a reason behind Gary Player’s remarkable longevity).

Only seven players bettered par when it was first staged here back in 2019. And that wasn’t down to the advertised 7,600 yardage (the tee-box was shuffled around continuously all week). This Bermuda layout is just a fiendish design that has card-wreckers everywhere.

Accuracy looks far more beneficial than distance this week, with danger lurking anywhere outside of these fairly narrow fairways. Water is in play on seven holes and the greens feature considerable undulations. Players need to be accurate with their irons to find the correct portions of these sizable greens.

But scrambling could prove even more crucial this week, with awkward little runoff areas peppering the course. I would look for accurate types who have strong bogey-avoidance stats.

The Contenders

This is once again a pretty dismal field. Many of the top European players will be playing Stateside or taking some time off ahead of the upcoming Masters. Rasmus Hojgaard played some strong golf during the desert swing but he has gone quiet since then.

The fact that he comfortably leads this market tells you everything you need to know about the ‘depth’ of this field. Ewen Ferguson has been popping up on leaderboards lately while Anirban Lahiri will no doubt attract plenty of local support.

Bernd Wiesberger will be looking for something as he continues in his quest to rehabilitate his career. The Austrian- a two-time Rolex Series winner- jumped ship to LIV, struggled, and was forced to return to Europe with his tail tucked firmly between his legs. Elsewhere, the likes of Jordan Smith and Yannick Paul stand out in this humdrum lineup.

Past Winners

2023: Marcel Siem (-14)
2022-2020: event cancelled
2019: Stephen Gallagher (-9)
2018: Matt Wallace (-11) *playoff
2017: Shiv Chawrasia (-10)

To Win Outright:

Rasmus Hojgaard 12/1 | Jordan Smith 18/1 | Anirban Lahiri 20/1 | Bernd Wiesberger 20/1 | Ewen Ferguson 22/1

Value Bets

Adrian Otaegui- To Win 35/1 | To Place 7/1

I really don’t think there’s a player better suited to this test in this field. At his best, Spaniard Adrian Otaegui is ramrod straight with the driver (as evidenced by his victory at Valderrama 18 months ago). He missed the cut in Singapore but those massive fairways never gave him a chance to capitalize on his control. He finished 10th here in his only appearance five years ago. He has been in pretty dreary form this season but his fourth place at the Kenya Open did occur on a course similar to this one. He also has four top-20 finishes in his last five visits to Le Golf National (a course whose narrow fairways memorably tripped up the American Ryder Cup side in 2018).

Jayden Schaper- To Win 60/1 | To Place 15/1

This could be the week for the 23-year-old South African to shine. Schaper actually rose to prominence with a runner-up finish at the 2020 Alfred Dunhill Championship. That could be crucial this week as Leopard Creek is also a Gary Player design. He has a host of top 30 finishes at Player designs, notably finishing fifth at the SA Open hosted at Blair Atholl. He also opened this season in brilliant fashion, racking up four consecutive top-10 finishes. He hasn’t picked up a top 20 since then but he did close last week with an encouraging 66. Oh, and he finished 13th here last season. He just looks like a decent dark horse pick this week.

The Man to Beat- Yannick Paul- To Win 25/1 | To Place 48/10 

Last year’s runner-up Yannick Paul looks like terrific value at 25/1. The German just fits this nasty layout like a glove. He is amongst the best iron players in European golf, hitting the most greens in regulation during last year’s tournament. He also ranked 1st in scrambling en route to that runner-up finish. Sure, he has been somewhat inconsistent of late, missing the cut at last week’s Singapore Classic. But he recently displayed great bouncebackability, finishing fourth at the Ras Al Khaimah Championship a week after missing the Dubai Desert Classic cut. This isn’t rocket science: it’s a weak field and Paul is one of the best approach players in any field.

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