Indian Open golf called off due to COVID-19 pandemic

The Indian Golf Union was eyeing hosting it in October, but the rising coronavirus cases have forced a change in plan.

By Naveen Peter

In what will be a big blow for golfers in India, the 2020 Indian Open was called off today due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The $1,750,000 event, co-sanctioned by the European Tour, is one of the biggest in the continent and often has proven to be a platform for Indian golfers to take the leap in their careers.

While the 2020 event was initially scheduled for March 19-22 at the DLF Golf and Country Club in Gurugram, it was postponed following the outbreak of the novel coronavirus across the country.

However, with no respite and Delhi being a hotspot, the Indian Golf Union (IGU) was forced to cancel the event altogether.

“Keeping the health and safety of everyone as topmost priority in view of the current situation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, IGU, the national body for golf in India, today announced the cancellation of the Hero Indian Open 2020,” Devang Shah, the chairman of the organising committee said.

A difficult decision

“It was a very difficult decision, but the right one under the present circumstances of the ongoing pandemic,” Lt Gen D Anbu (Retd), the acting president of the IGU said.

“With no likelihood of any respite in the foreseeable future, safeguarding the health and well-being of all players, officials and spectators are of paramount importance.”

Established in the year 1964, the Indian Open is one of the oldest running events in the country and has gone on to become a marquee fixture in the Asian golfing circuit.

The competition was sanctioned by the European Tour in 2015 and has seen the likes of Anirban Lahiri (2015) and SSP Chawrasia (2016, 2017) clinch the title in front of their home fans.

The women’s edition of the Indian Open too has been called-off in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.