THE European Tour is on the move again this week from South Africa to India for the Hero Indian Open in New Delhi.
Defending champion SSP Chowrasia returns to the DLF Country Club to try to win the tournament for the third consecutive year. Since its inaugural year in 2015 home players have dominated with Chawrasia and Lahiri winning three times between them.
DLF Golf & Country Club: 2379 yards, Par 72
This course can be a bit of a brute at times with narrow fairways and water in play on six holes, including the par-three 5th which is an island hole. There are large bunkers and undulating grees. Driving accuracy and putts per round are important stats.
Along with Chowrasia and Lahiri the man everyone is talking about at the moment, Shubhanker Sharma, who has won twice already on the European Tour, is appearing along with Emiliano Grillo and Joost Luiten. So not a bad turnout.
Sharma is joint favourite but I think his performance in last week’s WGC-Mexican Championship, where he finished T9, might have taken too much out of him. He led for three rounds but fell away on the final day.
However, he was so impressive on his PGA Tour debut he won an special exemption to play in next month's Masters at Augusta – the first player to do so for five years. That's some consolation for missing out on the title and he is a best 12-1 at Paddy Power and Betfred.
Even though it looks a stick-on for a home result I quite fancy American Paul Peterson.He plays mostly on the Asian Tour but won the D+D REAL Czech Masters on the European Tour in 2016.
He finished T11 in the Maybank Championship in the first week of February when hitting a 65 in the third round. He is third on the Asian Tour rankings behind Sharma and Kiradech Aphibarnrat and a win here wouldn’t be out of the question.
- Driving Accuracy: 62.15% (20th), Putts per Round: 31.14 (128th).
A Indian who has great form in this tournament is Lahiri. With a win, two seconds and a fifth-place finish in the last four years he is certainly worth looking at. Lahiri has been playing a lot in the States this season with not a lot of success but has only missed one cut.
When you look at his stats on the PGA Tour it doesn’t look too good but being back on home soil could give him a boost.
- Driving Accuracy: 57.14% (136th), Putts per Round: 29.10 (89th).
It tooks me a while to choose between Scott Jamieson and Chris Wood for my third pick It really boils down to the fact Jamieson finished T3 here last year and Wood hasn’t played the course before. I also think the Scot just edges the tall Englishman on form this year. His seventh place in South Africa last week came from four sub-70 rounds. Also his stats look solid for the DLF G&CC.
- Driving Accuracy: 52.4% (47th), Putts per Round: 28.6 (8th).