The Indian Open has been going for over 50 years but the 2015 staging will be extra special. For the first time in its history, the event will be officially sanctioned by the European Tour. Perhaps following on from the success of tournaments in China, the European Tour is keen to capture a slice of the huge potential fan base available in India. An exciting event at the Delhi Golf Club will go a long way to converting fans to golf, as did Anirban Lahiri’s victory in the Malaysian Open two weeks ago and the six wins by Indian golfers on last season’s Asian Tour.
The Lohdi Course which will once again host the Indian Open is one of the shorter courses on Tour this year. At just under 6,000 yards a greater emphasis will be given to hitting greens in regulation than power and distance off the tee. Canny players who plot their way around the course are likely to be at the top of the leaderboard come Sunday. With the quality of the field increasing from recent years, expect the winning score to be around 20 under par.
Out of all the razzmatazz that the European Tour brings with it, those hosting the Indian Open are most looking forward to welcoming the ever-cool Miguel Angel Jimenez. The Spaniard missed out on becoming the next European captain in the Ryder Cup this week but said that will just harden his ambition to qualify. Jimenez finished tied for seventh at the True Thailand Classic last week, an event he was using as a warm-up for this week. It could have been even better for him last week had he not run out of steam on Sunday. The conditions may be hot in Dehli but the length of the course will help Jimenez maintain his challenge across all four days. He is a best priced 11/1 with Coral and Bet365, and even at the ripe old age of 51 he has the game to be successful.
The only player above Jimenez in the outright market is local favourite Anirban Lahiri. At a course that he enjoys and a tournament in which he is desperate to do well, he can be backed at 8/1 with Ladbrokes. Another Indian player of interest is three-time winner of this tournament Jyoti Randhawa. The 42-year-old New Dehli resident has a recent victory on the Asian Tour but missed the cut in his last two events which were both co-sanctioned by the European Tour. Both Ladbrokes and Coral offer 50/1 that he will once again triumph at his home tournament. Given the quality of the field, take BetVictor’s 7/2 that he will finish in the top 10.
The final player to back each-way is the American Paul Peterson. The left-handed golfer has only been playing on the Asian Tour for one season but managed an impressive 22nd place on the 2014 order of merit. He has impressive driving accuracy, a controlled game from tee to green and is one of the better putters in the field. At 35/1 with Bet365, he is a strong contender for the title but should he fall short, a top-five finish and the payout for the place portion of the bet is very achievable.