26 March, 2019: Bernd Wiesberger is just about getting back from his injury and the display he put up at the Hero Skills Challenge indicated that he is on the right path. The Austrian, who was out of action from May to November last year due to a wrist injury, showed some skillful play as he won his team, the Rest of the World (RoW), three of the four Skills against an Asian foursome at the action-packed forerunner of the 2019 Hero Indian Open, which gets underway on Thursday.
The Challenge was played out at the ninth hole of the Gary Player course at the DLF Golf and Country Club.
Each Skill win was worth $ 2,500, which meant the RoW won US $ 7,500, while the Asian team won US $ 2,500. But the winnings were donated to a charity.
The prizes were given away by Dr. Pawan Munjal, Chairman, Hero MotoCorp.
Wiesberger was the star of the RoW team comprising captain, Pablo Larrazabal and his Spanish teammate, Adrian Otaegui, the second highest ranked player in the field, and South African Brandon Stone.
The Asian team comprised skipper Shiv Kapur, two-time Hero Indian Open winner SSP Chawrasia, Asian Tour 2018 No. 1, Shubhankar Sharma and Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond, who has been having a great season.
It was Kapur, who set the ball rolling for the home team, as he hit his chip shot from 80-odd yards to 18 inches with his first attempt and decided to forego his next two attempts as RoW’s Larrazabal and Otaegui were further than that from the pin. Chawrasia was the second Asian player in the Challenge.
The next Skill required precision and none was better than Wiesberger, who hit the platform with the Hero Bike on it twice in three shots. For Asia, Chawrasia failed on all three tries and Jazz managed it once in three shots. Stone also failed in his attempts.
Skipper Larrazabal was the best when it came to the bunker shot from 67 yards and hit his shot to within five feet five inches Shubhankar and Jazz of Asia were unable to get closer than that. Otaegui was the second RoW player.
In the final Skills Challenge, the Long Putt, Wiesberger was again the best putting to 15 inches from the far end of the green on the ninth. Kapur and Shubhankar were the ones to have a go at the Challenge, while the second RoW player was Stone.
The action now shifts to the official Pro-Am scheduled for Wednesday.