New Delhi:Indian-born Swede Daniel Chopra is the star attraction at the US$1 million Indian Open golf tournament.
Daniel may have missed India's first ever European Tour events held this year but there are still some big bucks awaiting the Mercedes-Benz Champion as he tees off at the Hero Honda Indian Open this October.
Thirty-four-year-old Chopra, son of an Indian father and Swedish mother, claimed the Mercedes-Benz Championship in Hawaii on the US PGA Tour at the start of this year for his second victory on that tour. Last year he claimed the Ginn sur Mer Classic at Tesoro.
"I've never won the Indian Open but I've been second twice in 1995, 1996 and I'll wait to come and see you in October, having said all that it's time for me to go and practice," Chopra said.
Last year, India's Jyoti Randhawa became only the second player to lift the trophy three times. He was the defending champion having beaten compatriots SSP Chowrasia and Vijay Kumar in 2006, while he first won the tournament in 2000. The only other player to achieve the 'threepeat' is Australian legend Peter Thomson, who also claimed the inaugural Indian Open in 1964.
And certainly Jyoti Randhawa is favourite to win this year too.
The new prize kitty of US$1 million or 4.5 crores is double of what he won last year. That's thanks to India now hosting two European tour events and two Asian tour events. In fact the total prize money in on offer in one season now is a whopping 30 crores.
Addressing media persons here, Hero Honda's MD and CEO Pawan Munjal hailed the phenomenal growth of golf in the country and reiterated his company's commitment to take the National Open to greater heights. Since taking up the Indian Open in 2005, Hero Honda has raised the prize-money from $300,000 to a million dollars.
India's 45th Indian Open looks to be a face-off between two men. Defending Champion Jyoti Randhawa who's aiming for his 3rd straight Indian Open title and Daniel Chopra, two-time winner on the US PGA Tour who's grown up playing at the venue of the tournament.