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Indian Open

Indian Open

Organised by the Indian Golf Union, the Indian Open is a 72-hole stroke play competition on the Asian Tour which is recognized as the national open championship of India. Six years after it was founded, the event was added to the Asian Golf Circuit in 1970 and within a few years it was one of ten tournaments played annually on that professional tour. It’s been co-sanctioned by the European Tour since 2015.

The first event was played at Delhi Golf Club in 1964 and it was won by Australia’s Peter Thomson, who finished four strokes clear of his nearest rival after four rounds. Thomson was a leading light during the formative years of the Open, stopping off in India on his way to and from other tournaments, and he went on to claim another two titles, in 1966 and 1976.

Delhi and Royal Calcutta shared hosting of the championship until the start of the new millennium, when the 37th edition of the Indian Open was held in 2000 at the Classic Golf & Country Club. Since then, both Karnataka Golf Association in Bangalore and DLF Golf & Country Club in Gurugram have also been used to stage the competition at their golf facilities.

It didn’t take long for a local golfing hero to appear. In just the second championship, amateur player Prem Gopal Sethi from Srinagar finished seven strokes ahead of an international field to win the title, having opened his account with two rounds of 68, He’d already represented India at the Eisenhower Trophy on four occasions before his victory and he would do the same again between 1966 and 1980.

During the 1970s, Peter Thomson wasn’t the only Australian golfer to enjoy success at this event. Graham Marsh won twice, in 1971 and 1973, as did Brian Jones in 1972 and 1977. Ted Ball also lifted the trophy in 1975, adding the Indian Open title to the Singapore Open that he won as a 23-year-old player eleven years earlier.

Nine of the thirteen Indian Opens played between 1978 and 1990 were won by North American golfers, the most famous of whom was Payne Stewart in 1981 with a 4-stroke winning margin over two Taiwanese golfers – and three weeks later he completed an Asian circuit double when he captured the Indonesia Open at Pondok Indah in Jakarta.

1991 was another year to celebrate for local golfers when 26-year-old Ali Sher became the second Indian to win the championship (with Basad Ali finishing 4th and Santosh Kumar ending up in 9th place). Former caddie Sher’s victory certainly provided inspiration for others to follow in his footsteps and almost half the competitions since then have been won by Indian golfers.

European-based champions are rather thin on the ground: the first to have his name etched on the trophy was Rikard Karlberg from Sweden in 2010 and he was followed in 2018 by England’s Matt Wallace, who beat compatriot Andrew Johnston with a birdie on the first extra hole of a sudden-death playoff at DFL Golf & Country Club. Scotsman Stephen Gallagher then claimed his fourth European Tour event when he won at the same venue twelve months later.

View:
01
Classic (Ridge & Valley)

Classic (Ridge & Valley)

Gurugram, Haryana

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DLF (Gary Player)

DLF (Gary Player)

Gurugram, Haryana

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Delhi (Lodhi)

Delhi (Lodhi)

New Delhi, Delhi

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Karnataka

Karnataka

Bengaluru, Karnataka

05
Royal Calcutta

Royal Calcutta

Kolkata, West Bengal

Indian Open Top 100 Leaderboard

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