Sports IloveIndia
Hero Honda Indian Open is one of the premier golf competitions in India

Hero Honda Indian Open

Golf is one of the oldest sports of India. A number of golf tournaments are held in different parts of the country, including Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. The tournaments are predominantly organized by the Indian Golf Union (IGU), the apex body of golf in India. The tournaments have acquired recognition from the Asian PGA Tour and thus, known internationally. The events have been playing a pivotal role in upbringing the talents of Indian golfers and providing enough practice opportunity to them. One of the important golf tournaments is the Indian Open.

Indian Open is the oldest international golf tournament of India, organized by the Indian Golf Union (IGC). It is one of the major events in the Asian PGA Tour. British Open winner Peter Thomson (Australian golfer) was the inspiration behind the commencement of Indian Open. Its inaugural event was organized in 1964 and first played at the Delhi Golf Club. Thomson took up the issue of the organizing an international golf tournament with the Indian Golf Union, thus the Indian Open was born. He won the Indian Open trophy for three times, in the years 1964, 1966 and 1976. Prem Gopal (Billoo) Sethi was the first amateur Indian golfer, who won the Indian open trophy in 1965.

After becoming a part of the Asian Golf Circuit in 1970, the Indian Open started making stronger and stronger presence in the game, internationally. Foreign players continued to excel in the matches of Indian open until 1991, when veteran Indian golf player Ali Sher broke their stranglehold and became the first Indian professional to become the winner of the tournament. Since his victory, a number of top Indian golfers including Feroze Ali (1998), Arjun Atwal (1999), Jyoti Randhawa (2000) and Vijay Kumar (2002) have walked away with the top honors.

Indian open was named as Wills Indian Open in 1998, when Wills became the official sponsor of the tournament. In 2005, the name was changed to Hero Honda Indian Open, when Hero Honda Motors Ltd signed a three-year agreement with the event's promoter, the World Sport Group, to title sponsor the prestigious tournament. Since then, the tournament is referred to as Hero Honda Indian Open. In 2005, it became the first golf tournament in India to be broadcast live on television - the tournament was telecast live, on ESPN STAR Sports network.