The story of the Indian Open began in 1964 when Australian ace and five-time Open champion Peter Thompson secured a very fitting win. He was credited as being the inspiration for the tournament as he was one of the first people to see the potential for India to be a golfing nation on his many stop-offs in the country during his global golfing career.
The tournament has come a long way since those early days. It first made its way onto the Asian Golf Circuit, then onto the Asian Tour in 1998 before being co-sanctioned by the European Tour in 2015. Backed by a big sponsor and played at some of the finest courses in India, the Hero Indian Open is a tournament that continues to go from strength to strength. With the country’s growing middle class helping the game really explode in India, this tournament looks set to go from strength to strength.
|2023||DLF Golf and Country Club||Marcel Siem|
|2019||DLF Golf and Country Club||Stephen Gallacher|
|2018||DLF Golf and Country Club||Matt Wallace|
2023: Marcel Siem
German flags dominated the top two positions of the leaderboard at the end of the 2023 Hero Indian Open, as Marcel Siem edged out compatriot Yannik Paul for a one-shot success. For Siem, his fifth DP World Tour victory marked a welcome return to the winner's enclosure, with his previous win coming at the BMW Masters back in 2014.
Siem started one shot back from Paul heading into the final round, but quickly erased that deficit with four birdies over the first 11 holes to pull two shots clear – the highlight coming when sinking from 20ft at the fourth. However, it was all square once more following the 13th, as Paul answered Siem's bogey with a birdie to create a two-shot swing. That hole suggested the momentum may be switching back to the overnight leader. However, it was Siem who seized the initiative once more when sinking his putt from 15ft to grab a birdie at the 15th and regain the lead. This time he wouldn't relinquish it, with a trio of pars over the tough closing holes being enough to post a tournament score of -14, one shot clear of the chasing Paul.
For Paul, this marked another case of so near and yet so far, with the 28-year-old also having filled the runners-up spot in Thailand in his previous event. You had to give top marks for consistency to the German here, but it must no doubt be frustrating to not quite get over the line for his second start in succession. Joost Luiten of the Netherlands finished on 12 under par to claim a solo third.
The 2022 tournament was cancelled.
The 2021 tournament was cancelled.
The 2020 tournament was cancelled.
2019: Stephen Gallacher
The only thing tougher than making it to the top of any sport is getting back there after a lengthy slump. The 2019 Hero Indian Open was not the biggest tournament that Stephen Gallacher has competed in by some distance but it may well have felt like the most important. In seeing off the challenge of the Japanese player Masahiro Kawamura, Jorge Campillo and the rest of the chasing pack, Gallacher made his return to the European Tour winner’s circle for the first time in five years.
It was fitting that this win was secured via a battling performance in which the Scot had to fight against the odds. He was three shots off the lead at the start of play on Sunday and knew that only his best golf would be enough to win. Fortunately the experienced Scotsman had just that for most of the round. He also showed some real mental fortitude as he didn’t allow a quadruple bogey on the seventh hole to derail his quest for the title. Such a score could easily have seen off any player, let alone one without a win for so long, so the fact that he was able to bounce back speaks volumes.
A round of 71 was enough to see him reach -9 for the tournament which was one shot better than Kawamura who had a poor day at the office and went round in +1 for the day on Sunday. Afterwards, Gallacher credited his son Jack who was caddying for him with giving him the belief that he could work his way back from the debacle on seven, saying, “He was great as well, he is a great caddie and a top lad.”
2018: Matt Wallace
Matt Wallace ended a run of three straight home winners of the Hero Indian Open (including back-to-back wins for Shiv Chawrasia) with his win in the 2018 edition. The second win on the European Tour for Wallace was hard earned as he had to come through a playoff against fellow Englishman, Andrew “Beef” Johnston.
Winning golf tournaments at this level takes a combination of technical ability and mental strength. Wallace has been working very hard on the former element since he was a young boy but in more recent times he’s treated the mental side of his game with increased importance. There is no doubt that his ability to focus on the job at hand helped him earn the win as he was undoubtedly frustrated to throw away his 54-hole lead. He was able to put that in the past and then lean on his outstanding technical ability to produce two stunning shots in the playoff. A huge drive and a four iron put Wallace in the driving seat and his birdie was enough to finally end Johnston’s brave attempts to win.
It took a great deal of mental strength just for Wallace to make it to the weekend after a horror start to the tournament. He was three shots over par for his first eight holes in New Delhi but gathered himself to play some of the golf of his career from there. As long Wallace keeps marrying the technical and mental side of his game to this affect he will secure many more wins.