The first two Hero Indian Opens at the Delhi Golf Club in New Delhi have been all-Indian affairs.
Locals Shiv (SSP) Chawrasia and Anirban Lahiri have traded wins and runner-up finishes in the first two runs of this tournament. Chawrasia bested Lahiri and Jeungun Wang by two strokes last year, and Lahiri needed an extra playoff hole to get past Chawrasia in 2015.
So just load up on Lahiri and Chawrasia and you’ll be good to go this week, right? The problem is this year’s event is not being played at the Delhi Golf Club. It has been moved to the DLF Golf and Country Club. This course is roughly 700 yards longer and has a 273-yard Par 3. That’s a far cry from the less-than-driver style and strategic layout at New Delhi.
With no course history to rely on I’ll be looking for the best golfers in Long-Term Adjusted Round Score (LT Adj Rd Score), Recent Adj Rd Score, LT Driving Distance (DD), Greens in Regulation (GIR), and Adjusted Birdies Per Tournament (Adj Bird Avg).
Home Sweet Home
With currently the best odds to win (11.1 percent), the aforementioned Anirban Lahiri ($11,500) will likely have an easy time adjusting to the new track thanks to his 291.0-yard LT DD. (Chawrasia has a 263.7 yard-LT DD.)
Lahiri’s 68.8 LT Adj Rd Score ranks third, and his 14.5 LT Adj Bird Avg is seventh. Fresh off an 11th-place finish at the Honda Classic, he enters the tournament in excellent form: His 68.9 Recent Adj Rd Score is tops among golfers with more than one start in the past six weeks. Before the Honda Classic, he accumulated three top-25 finishes in four starts, including a seventh-place finish at the Maybank Championship, where he posted 104.5 DraftKings points.
Spain’s Rafael Cabrera-Bello ($10,900) currently has the second-best odds to win at 9.1 percent. Both RCB’s 69.2 LT Adj Rd Score and his 74.7 percent LT GIR rank second in the field (and first among golfers who have more than one start in our database), and his 15 LT Adj Bird Avg is fourth.
Cabrera-Bello is making his debut at this event, but he did notch a T16 finish in his last appearance in India back in 2011. RCB hasn’t done anything spectacular this season, but he currently has a string of eight-straight top-40 finishes worldwide.
The question is whether the man who has averaged just 62.3 DK points per tournament over his last three starts be able to exceed his lofty salary-based expectations? Per our Trends tool, in six appearances with a salary of $10,000 or higher Rafa has produced a lofty +19.17 Plus/Minus with 83.3 percent Consistency while being owned in a very chalky 34.6 percent of lineups in large-field mid-stakes tournaments.
The Bump and Run
Choke up and take a narrow stance.
Romain Langasque ($9,500): Langasque’s 70.8 LT Adj Rd Score is tied for sixth, his 72.8 LT GIR percentage is tied for fourth, his 307.9-yard LT DD is sixth, and his 15.4 LT Adj Bird Avg is second overall. Langasque has not missed a cut this season and has finished in the top 20 in his last two tournaments.
Jordan L. Smith ($9,100): Smith’s 71.2 LT Adj Rd Score is tied for 15th, his 70.8 LT GIR percentage is 13th, and his 14.4 LT Adj Bird Avg is tied for seventh. Smith has made seven straight cuts since December of last year, including a third-place finish at the South African Open and a sixth-place finish at the Qatar Masters.
Nicolas Colsaerts ($8,300): I’ve used it before but it never gets old: Colsaerts drops bombs like the bible drops Psalms. His 307.3-yard LT DD is seventh in the field, and his Recent DD of 315.5 yards is even bombier. (I’m almost positive that’s not a word). And Colsaerts is more than just a driver: His 74 percent LT GIR is second overall, his 13.1 LT Adj Bird Avg is 19th, and his 70.7 LT Adj Rd Score ranks fifth in the field.
Stephen Gallacher ($7,600): Gallacher’s 71.4 LT Adj Rd Score is tied for 22nd, and his 70.4 LT GIR percentage is 16th. He last teed it up in early February when he placed ninth at the Dubai Desert Classic.
Dylan Frittelli ($7,200): Fritelli has looked sharp in his last two starts with 16th- and 12th-place finishes at the Joburg and Tshwane Opens. Fritelli’s 75 percent Recent GIR and 15.0 Recent Adj Bird Avg both rank sixth among golfers who have made more than one start in the past six weeks.
Chris Hanson ($6,300): Hanson has hit 78.0 percent of GIR while driving the ball an average of 304.3 yards and producing a 71.1 Recent Adj Rd Score in four tournaments over the past six weeks. He finished 18th at the Qatar Masters earlier this season.
Good luck this week!