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India Open returns with record prize purse of US$ 2 million, to kickstart from Feb 23

IANS | February 09, 2023 03:43 PM

NEW DELHI: Indian Open - the golf tournament - is set to return later this month after a three-year break due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The Indian Open - to be held between February 23-26 at the DLF Golf & Country Club - will see a high-powered field of star players, including defending champion Stephen Gallacher, 2018 Ryder Cup-winning captain Thomas Bjorn, his fellow Ryder Cup teammate Thorbjorn Olesen, Scotland's Robert MacIntyre and the rising star from Denmark, Nicolai Hojgaard.

This year, the DP World Tour tournament will touch the landmark figure of US$ 2 million as prize purse for the first time and host a field of 120 players from over 20 countries.

Pawan Munjal, Chairman & CEO, Hero MotoCorp, said, "We are delighted to see the Hero Indian Open return to action. Hero MotoCorp has been associated with this marquee tournament for close to two decades and we have seen the tournament grow in stature during this duration. The tournament has made a significant contribution to growing the sport and providing a platform for Indian golfers to showcase their talent. We are also happy to see our association with the DP World Tour grow across the globe in addition to bringing innovation and new opportunities to the game. We wish all the players the very best and look forward to a week of exciting, world-class golfing action."

The tournament gains immense significance with its 2750 'Race to Dubai' ranking points and 2, 000 'Ryder Cup' points. With the top 10 players from the DP World Tour, who are not otherwise exempt, also getting a card to the PGA Tour, there is an added incentive for the players.

The winner will receive a handsome US$ 340, 000, while the runner-up picking up US$ 220, 000 and the third-place finisher pocketing US$ 126, 000. The fourth-place fetches US$ 100, 000.

Gallacher, the first Scotsman to win the Hero Indian Open, will be joined by fellow Scot, Robert MacIntyre, a left-hander with immense talent and a Top-100 player, who was in Top-50 in 2021. MacIntyre won the 2022 Italian Open, which had World No.1 Rory McIlroy and Matthew Fitzpatrick in the field.

Part of the 2014 Ryder Cup winning team, Gallacher had his son on the bag when he won the Hero Indian Open in 2019. Gallacher, two years away from being eligible to join the Legends Tour in Europe for players above 50, will be joined by another legend, Thomas Bj�rn, the winning Ryder Cup Captain in 2018 and 15-time DP World Tour winner.

Shubhankar Sharma, who got off to a flying start at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, the first strokeplay event of 2023 on the DP World Tour, will spearhead the strong home challenge, which will include Hero Brand Ambassador Shiv Kapur and two-time Hero Indian Open winner, SSP Chawrasia. Sharma at one stage was in shared lead at Abu Dhabi, a Rolex Series event, in which he was runner-up in 2022.

Sharma has already qualified for the 151st Open to be held at Royal Liverpool in the same week in which he will turn 27.

Manu Gandas, who earned a card into the DP World Tour because of the latest alliance between the PGTI, DP World Tour and PGA Tour, will also be seen in action. Gandas had an outstanding season in 2022, when he won six domestic Tour events and topped the Order of Merit to earn a card to the DP World Tour.

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