Indian Open golf tips: Local knowledge key for Manu Gandas at the DLF

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The DP World Tour returns to India for the first time since 2019 this weekend, when the Hero Indian Open gets under way at the DLF Golf and Country Club near New Delhi.

At 7,380 yards in length and par 72, the Gary Player-designed course has also been a venue for tournaments on the Indian Tour, and was last visited by the then-European Tour back in 2017.

The parkland-style Bermuda grass course involves severe elevation changes and its fairways are punctuated by six large water hazards, and adorned with large undulating greens.

A typical Gary Player classical design is built to challenge all golf skills, and that is expected to be reflected in higher scores than the players have been achieving in recent weeks.

The tournament comprises a weaker than usual field this week, with a relatively large number of Indian Tour players rubbing shoulders with a reduced number of the world’s elite.

Thorbjorn Olesen heads the market after cruising to a four-stroke win in last weekend’s Thailand Classic.

If he can maintain that form then he clearly has the game to win again this week, albeit round a different style of course, and 11/1 with extra places is available if you shop around.

Nicolai Hojgaard is similarly priced, and while he continues to look like winning on tour, he struggles to follow it through on Sundays, and it won’t help his prospects that this course is harder to overpower with big hitting than in the past couple of weeks.

The out-of-form Robert MacIntyre is next in the betting at 14/1, but his recent inconsistencies make it difficult to support him with any confidence at that price.

Last week’s runner up Yannik Paul is a best-priced 18/1, and while he is a promising young golfer, he too is inconsistent, so it is hard to see him performing two weeks running.

Bearing in mind the weaknesses of those at the top of the betting, I think that this week looks good for the potential of a big-odds winner.

Of the European contingent, one golfer from outside the box who catches my eye this week is Pablo Larrazabal. The Spaniard has been in decent form recently and has had good results on tough courses. 

He also has a decent short game, which should come in handy if the greens are hard to find, and he looks an appealing bet at around 28/1.

As I said previously, the tournament field is padded out by golfers from the Indian Tour, but some of them have experience of the DP World Tour and so it is worth considering them as potential winners this week in their own environment.

I am drawn to Manu Gandas, who is available at 100/1 or more, depending on which bookmaker and each-way terms you prefer.

Manu won the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) order of merit last year and is attached to this course as a professional and so plays it regularly.

His form on the Indian Tour has been reasonable so far, and he finished 28th on 10 under par in Thailand last week, just five shots off a top ten spot.

A previous winner of this tournament is SSP Chawrasia, who you could call an Indian golfing legend. If back to near his best, he could be a contender this week, and might be worth considering for an enhanced place at 125/1 or more.

Play gets underway in the early hours UK time on Thursday.


Martin Colwell

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