Shillong, Feb 10: With a $2 million prize purse on offer, the Hero Indian Open returns after a three-year Covid-enforced break for its 2023 edition and will be played at the DLF Golf and Country Club in Gurgaon from 23rd to 26th February.

Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher will be back to defend the title he won at the DLF back in 2019 as part of the 120-strong field that will also see at least 28 Indians tee off for the national Open.

Such is the bump in prize-money that the top four alone will walk away with close to three-quarters of a million dollars, a far cry from the days Hero MotoCorp first stepped in to sponsor the Indian Open for a $200,000 tag.

For the top four the breakup is $340,000 to the winner, $220,000 for the runner-up, $126,000 for finishing third and a round $100,000 for fourth place.

Joining Gallacher will be a high-powered field including 2018 Ryder Cup-winning captain Thomas Bjørn, fellow Ryder Cup star Thorbjørn Olesen, Scotland’s Robert MacIntyre and the emerging Nicolai Højgaard of Denmark.

Shubhankar Sharma, the lone Indian presently on the DP World (European) Tour that co-sanctions the Indian Open with the PGTI, Shiv Kapur and two-time former champion Shiv Shankar Prasad Chawrasia will join the 25 entries from the PGTI.

Consequent to the rise in prize money and strength of field, the Hero Indian Open will be key to both the DP World Tour’s Race of Dubai rankings (offering 2,750 points) as well as Ryder Cup selection (2,000 points).

Part of the 2014 Ryder Cup winning team, Gallacher had his son on the bag when he won the Hero Indian Open in 2019. The Scot, two years away from being eligible to join the Legends Tour in Europe for players above 50, will be joined by another legend, Bjørn, a 15-time DP World Tour winner.

As it is the national Open, the event is officially organised by the Indian Golf Union, and newly-elected president Brijinder Singh, said, “It is our flagship event and we look forward to the excitement and bonhomie it brings. Let’s make this event a memorable one.”

Also in the field will be PGTI Order of Merit topper in 2022 Manu Gandas, who earned a card into the DP World Tour because of the recent alliance between the PGTI, DP World Tour and PGA Tour. Gandas won a record six domestic events last year to earn his DP World Tour card.

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