Golfer Moore seeks 50th Indian Open title
New Delhi – Jonathan Moore will vie for his first Asian Tour title at the 50th Indian Open at the Delhi Golf Club (DGC) here, a venue he rates as unique.
The American will be among an elite field including Robert Rock of England, a two-time winner in Europe, Jbe Kruger of South Africa, Pariya Junhasavasdikul of Thailand, a two-time Asian Tour winner, and Swede Daniel Chopra at the $1.25 million showpiece which starts Thursday.
Arjun Atwal, the first Indian to win on the PGA Tour, Anirban Lahiri, who won three of his Asian Tour titles at DGC, Gaganjeet Bhullar, ranked third on the Asian Tour Order of Merit and an in-form Shiv Kapur will spearhead the local challenge.
Moore feels more comfortable playing at DGC now compared to his first experience in 2011 where he was caught off-guard by the narrow and tree lined fairways.
“The DGC is unique. I have never played another course where guys are taking the drivers out of the golf bag. I’m taking out my driver this week too. I have a three wood that would hopefully do the job. I think the venue is fitting for the Indian Open’s golden anniversary,” said the 28-year-old, who enjoyed a solid 2012 where he finished seventh on the Order of Merit.
Currently 87th on the Merit ranking, Moore will need a solid result or a victory this week to secure playing rights for the 2014 Asian Tour. The top-60 players at the end of 2013 will earn an Asian Tour card for 2014.
“I haven’t had the best year so far but this week is a good week to try and save my card. You just need that one week to get a good finish so hopefully it will be this week,” said Moore.
India’s Lahiri hopes to keep the prestigious National Open trophy on home soil as C. Muniyappa was the last Indian to win the tournament in 2009.
“Coming into this week, I think the whole bunch of us are looking strong to keep the title at home. Muniyappa was the last Indian to win the title and since then no Indian has won it so it will be nice to break that,” said Lahiri.
Lahiri said the Indians will not have a home advantage at DGC as the course has been a regular venue on Asian Tour.
“Over the years the advantage of playing at DGC has eroded. We have been playing here so often now. When that happens, you are playing here at least six or nine times in two or three years. It is a level playing field now,” explained Lahiri.