02 July 2021: The Hero Indian Open, the biggest treasure in Indian golf, remains locked away. Coronavirus has played havoc with golf in Asia and for the second year running, the marquee event has been cancelled.
The event is held annually at the DLF Golf & Country Club. But New Delhi is just recovering from an intense period of grief and trauma as a second wave swept through the city, taking many lives and affecting many families.
It is understandable that the European Tour and the sponsor Hero Moto Corp decided to put life and well being ahead of the tournament, in the interest of safety while the country continues its battle against the pandemic.
In a statement issued today, “The European Tour today confirms that the Hero Indian Open, scheduled to take place from October 28-31, has been cancelled due to the ongoing threat in the country posed by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said the hosts.”
“With the safety of everyone involved in the tournament being the main priority and travel to and from India remaining challenging, the decision has been taken following consultation with the Indian Golf Union, the Asian Tour and the tournament title sponsor Hero MotoCorp Ltd.”
“The European Tour will look to schedule a replacement tournament in the final week of October but there are no definitive plans as to where that will be at this stage.”
The event was scheduled to be played between 28 and 31 October in Gurugram. The Hero Indian Open has a chequered 57 year history and last ran in 2019.
Stephen Gallacher became the first Scottish winner of the tournament when it was played last in 2019. Matt Wallace won in 2017. The tournament has remained a steady fixture on the Asian circuit since 1970 before joining the European Tour in 2015. It has a three way sanction as an event on the calendars of the PGTI, Asian and European Tours.
After rescheduling to a different spot on the calendar, the event did not take place in 2014. When it returned, Anirban Lahiri secured a famous victory at the Delhi Golf Club, surpassing SSP Chawrasia in a playoff.
Chawrasia laid the ghost to rest with a spectacular victory at the DGC in 2015. He went on to defend the title at DLF the next year.
Meanwhile, Gallacher will remain the defending champion in waiting, as he looks to return to the site of his 2019 victory. The Scott erased the scars from a quadruple bogey eleven on the par-4 seventh hole before securing a phoenix like victory with six birdies, including three on the last four holes for a one-stroke victory.