Wednesday, 16 March 2016
A general view of the sixth hole  (Getty Images)
A general view of the sixth hole (Getty Images)

Patience and strategy will be the keys to victory at the Hero Indian Open this week with many of the leading contenders choosing to obey the same rule - resist the driver.

The layout at Delhi Golf Club is just 6,983 yards in length but devilishly narrow, requiring accuracy off the tee and a deft touch around the greens to succeed.

The highest ranked player in the field is World Number 52 and defending champion Anirban Lahiri, who won round here last year with a seven under par total.

The home favourite has played the New Delhi layout on numerous occasions and insists if you do not show it enough respect, you will get punished.

Over the years if you have a strategy at Delhi Golf Club, you don't mess with it. It is hard enough playing here so you stick with it - Anirban Lahiri

"Four years ago, I took my driver out and it's never going to make an appearance at the Delhi Golf Club. You understand what is the most comfortable way to play a golf course."

SSP Chawrasia is another veteran of Delhi Golf Club and a four-time runner-up at this event.

Such a formidable record shows that the 37 year old is comfortable in home conditions, and he is happy to be back at a course that suits his eye as he goes in search of his third European Tour title.

"This is a short course and I am not a very long hitter," he said. "So, on this course if you chip and putt well and land the ball straight then you get good results.

"I try to play safe over here. I don't use a driver; I use a three wood and hybrid. That's what I try to do every time I go out there."

Ireland's Paul Dunne is making his first appearance in India and just his tenth start on The European Tour, and he admits he is facing a different challenge this week.

"I got here on Monday morning and had a good look at the course," he said. "It is a different golf course from what we normally play. It is a lot more about strategy and you really need to keep the ball in play. If you hit it into the trees, it will be an automatic dropped shot.

"That's why you see so many people using irons off the tees, playing more conservatively and playing for pars. It will test every part of your game."

As for Peter Uihlein, who arrives here on the back of three top ten finishes, he will have the decisions on the tee taken out of his hands.

"I don't think my caddie will let me hit a driver here," he said. "It is his call this week on what I should do on the course."

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
T2WANG, JeunghunKOR18-13
T2LAHIRI, AnirbanIND18-13
T4QUE, AngeloPHI18-12
T4DA SILVA, AdilsonBRA18-12
T6HAVRET, GrégoryFRA18-10

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