A strong Indian contingent comprising numerous European and Asian Tour champions will take on an equally strong international star cast as the 56th edition of the Hero Indian Open (HIO) tees off next month.
The flagship event of Indian golf -- which is also the longest-running international event in India -- will be held between March 19 and 22, and carry a prize purse of $1.75 million.
This will be the 15th successive edition to be sponsored by motorcycle market leader Hero MotoCorp, who took over the title sponsorship in 2005. It also marks the 25th year of Hero MotoCorp's association with golf.
Almost all top Indian golfers, including former champions such as SSP Chawrasia (2016 and 2017), Anirban Lahiri (2015) and three-time winner Jyoti Randhawa (2000, 2006 and 2007), will be seen in action in this edition of the Hero Indian Open. Proven and established champions such as Shiv Kapur, Rashid Khan, Rahil Gangjee, Shubhankar Sharma and many others will also be in the fray at Gary Player layout at the gorgeous DLF Golf and Country Club in Gurugram.
Giving the established players a run for their money will be the likes of Udayan Mane, who has won the last three events on the domestic tour and risen to 241 in the world. Viraj Madappa, Khalin Joshi, S Chikkarangappa, Ajeetesh Sandhu, Aman Raj, Kshitij Naveed Kaul, Karandeep Kochhar, Veer Ahlawat, Yuvraj Sandhu and others will all be hoping to strike it big at India's biggest golfing event.
The field for HIO 2020 will feature a quartet of fresh, young talent with Justin Suh of the United States, a former world number 1 amateur; Akshay Bhatia, a golfer of Indian origin who represents the US and is a much-decorated amateur. Denmark's Nicolai Hojgaard and Matthew Jordan of England are two other young golfers, who could make the week their own.
Bharatendu Kabi, Head, Corporate Communication, Hero MotoCorp said: "hero MotoCorp remains committed to the long-term promotion of golf in the country and around the world. We have been the Title Sponsor of the Hero Indian Open for 15 consecutive years now. The Hero Indian Open has always provided a platform to Indian golfers to compete against a strong international field and showcase their talent. With the presence of a strong Indian contingent, and participation of talented international players, we are sure the Hero Indian Open 2020 will see top-class competitive golf.
The European Tour has been a partner by co-sanctioning the event with Asian Tour and this year will see the great Dane Thomas Bjorn, the winning captain of 2018 European Ryder Cup team in Gurgaon, along with Dutch golfer Joost Luiten, a six-time European Tour winner and Andy Sullivan, a three-time European Tour winner.
Leading the European challenge will be the defending champion, Stephen Gallacher, who had his son, Jack, on the bag when he won last year.