Golf: Star-studded line-up for the DGC Open
New Delhi, January 12, 2023
Top Asian Tour stars led by defending champion Nitithorn Thippong (Thailand) and a strong Indian squad spearheaded by Ajeetesh Sandhu will headline the second edition of The DGC Open to be played at the Delhi Golf Club from March 16-19.
The tournament, which in its very inaugural year was voted as the third best event on the 20-event schedule of the Asian Tour in the "Players Tournament of the Year", will also see a massive increase of the prize purse, which goes up from $ 500,000 to $ 750,000, a 50% increase in the prize money.
The event last year was won by Thippong, who crushed Indian hopes as he pipped Sandhu to the post by edging him out in a playoff after a thrilling finish.
Since then, he has added a win from the International Series Singapore and finished fourth on the year-end Asian Tour Order of Merit. Nitithorn is all set to return this year as well as he looks to defend his title.
The field will have 132 players from around 25 countries.
Indian players will look forward to the event as it gave them a lot of success with Sandhu, a former winner on Asian Tour, coming close to adding a second Asian Tour title to his collection last year. He was runner-up while Gaganjeet Bhullar was fourth.
Bhullar, later in the season, became the first Indian to amass 10 titles on the Asian Tour, when he won the Mandiri Indonesia Open. He was also the top Indian on the Asian Tour Order of Merit at 14th position.
The Delhi Golf Club has been called the “Home of Indian Golf” and has hosted international events for more than half a century, going back to 1964. Its products include a host of Arjuna Award winners, Asian Games gold medallists like Shiv Kapur, and numerous Asian Tour winners.
It hosted the first Indian Open, the 1982 Asian Games and is renowned for its junior development programmes, which have given birth to many stars. It has also been at the forefront of the promotion of women’s golf, having hosted several international events as well.
“The DGC Open presented by Mastercard is turning out to be a marquee event both in the Indian golf calendar as well as on the Asian Tour,” said Raj Khanna, Captain, Delhi Golf Club. “With the prize money increasing from $500,000 last year to $ 750,000 this year, the Delhi Golf Club is playing a key role in promoting high quality golf in India and encouraging the Indian youth to greater efforts towards success in an Olympic sport.”
India has more than a dozen players on the Asian Tour who have a full Tour card for the world’s third largest tour, which will have close to USD 50 million in prize purse in 2023 with its schedule including a dozen International Series events and full field tour events.
The Indians’ liking for the course and The DGC Open presented by Mastercard was further strengthened by the tied-sixth place finish by three players, Mastercard Brand Ambassador Shiv Kapur, young gun Veer Ahlawat and Yuvraj Sandhu, who had a splendid season on the domestic Tour with five wins and a second place on the domestic PGTI Order of Merit.
The Delhi Golf Club course was first designed by five-time Open winner, Peter Thomson, and was later redesigned by the nine-time Major winner, Gary Player, who was present at the inaugural edition of The DGC Open presented by Mastercard. The 6,900-yard (approximately) iconic DGC is spread over 179 acres and nestled in the heart of Delhi.
"As the home of Indian golf with such a rich history and legacy, Delhi Golf Club has always believed in promoting excellence in golf and when we embarked on the journey of constituting our own Asian Tour event last year, it was a step in that direction. It is really exciting to see The DGC Open presented by Mastercard growing and becoming bigger in its second edition with increased prize money. I would like to thank Mastercard India for their continued support and Asian Tour for being wonderful partners," said K K Bajoria, President, Delhi Golf Club”.
"After the resounding success of last year’s DGC Open presented by Mastercard, the Asian Tour is eagerly anticipating returning to the tournament this year,” said Cho Minn Thant, Commissioner and CEO, Asian Tour.
“The tournament will be the sixth stop of the season . We thank both the club and Mastercard for once again making the event possible, and we have no doubt the event will again be one of the highlights of the year on our calendar.” he added