Nine Winners From 2022 Lead One of the Strongest Ever Fields at the Us$ 2 Million Hero Indian Open
Yannick Paul, Guido Migliozzi, Robert MacIntyre, Pablo Larrazabal among array of 2022 winners who have confirmed their participation
New Delhi, February 14: Left-handed Robert MacIntyre, the prodigious Scotsman, will be one of the big bunch of winners from last season who will descend upon the lush Gary Player designed DLF Golf and Country Club, which will see the much-awaited return of Hero Indian Open for the first time since 2019.
MacIntyre is looking to take back the Hero Indian Open Trophy, which was last won by his own countryman, Stephen Gallacher in 2019. The Scottish duo along with David Law, who was third at the Hero Open held last year in Scotland, will be gunning for the event that is being staged for the 56th time.
The huge array of winners in the field this time includes players who have won a whopping nine titles between them in 2022 alone.
They include Yannik Paul, Guido Migliozzi, MacIntyre, Kalle Samooja, Thorbjørn Olesen (once ranked as high as 33rd in the world), Spaniard Pablo Larrazabal (2), Nicolai Højgaard and Shaun Norris have all held aloft a trophy at least once on the DP World Tour in 2022.
In addition, there were more wins from Larrazabal, Jorge Campillo, Renato Paratore, Nicolai Højgaard since the last edition of the Hero Indian Open.
Many of these stars are also looking at gaining valuable Ryder Cup points to try and make the European Team for the Ryder Cup in Italy in September-October. The big list of proven winners makes for one of the strongest international fields in more than a decade at the Hero Indian Open, which has also crossed the threshold of US$ 2 million purse for the first time.
The home challenge will also be no less as it is led by SSP Chawrasia, whose record at the Hero Indian Open is legendary. The small-built but ever-smiling Chawrasia, who hails from Kolkata, and the site of the world’s second oldest golf course, the Royal Calcutta Golf Club, has won the title twice and been runner-up on as many as four other occasions. Between 2013-14 and 2017, in four successive editions of the HIO, Chawrasia never finished lower than tied second and won in both 2016 and 2017. He was also the first winner, when the event when it moved to its current home, the DLF Golf and Country Club in 2017. Chawrasia has twice won DP World titles on this course – in 2011 and 2017, but on different layouts.
While Chawrasia is legendary in status, the current man in form is Shubhankar Sharma, who was even on top of the leaderboard for a while on the final day of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championships. Sharma, who locked up his spot at the 151st Open due in Royal Liverpool in July, eventually finished tied seventh.
Another star to watch will be Manu Gandas, who gained a DP World Tour card, as the topper of the Indian Tour in 2022. Gandas won six times in India in 2022 and earned the card following an alliance between the PGTI Indian Tour and the DP World Tour and PGA Tour.
Other home stars to watch out for will include Gaganjeet Bhullar, one of the most successful Indian stars with 11 international wins and 11 domestic wins and the seasoned Shiv Kapur, who has six international wins, including two on the European Challenge, besides the 2022 Asian Games gold medal as an amateur.
The Scottish and Indian challenges will also have to contend with the strong Danish challenge, which will be led by the winning captain of the 2018 Ryder Cup European Team, Thomas Bjørn, who in December scored his first win on the Legends Tour in Mauritius. Bjørn, winner of 23 titles worldwide and three times runner-up at Majors, will guide a challenge that includes six-time European Tour winner, Thorbjørn Olesen, who won as recently in May 2022 at the Betfred British Masters.