Indian Open 2024 Tips: 125/1 shot one of six picks from Jamie

 | March 26 | 

19 mins read

Jamie DP World

The DP World Tour continues its Asian swing and, as always, our ace Golf tipster Jamie Worsley is back with a full preview and his Indian Open Predictions. 

Indian Open Betting Tips

  • 1.5 pts Adrian Otaegui each-way (1/5 - 6 places) - 33/1 
  • 1.25 pts Frederic LaCroix each way (1/5 - 6 places) - 40/1
  • 1 pt Callum Shinkwin each way (1/5 - 8 places) - 55/1 
  • 1 pt Marcus Helligkilde each way (1/5 - 8 places) - 55/1
  • 1 pt Aaron Cockerill each way (1/5 - 6 places) - 60/1
  • 1 pt Jamie Donaldson each way (1/5 - 8 places) - 150/1

Jesper Svensson had been a revelation since making the step up to the DP World Tour this season, recording two runner-up finishes in his first nine starts and hasn’t missed a cut yet in 2024.

It felt only a matter of time before he entered the winner’s circle on tour and the big-hitting Swede made that a reality in Singapore last week. Clawing back a four-shot deficit at the start of the final round with an exceptional closing 63 to set the clubhouse target, and then defeating Kiradech Aphibarnrat in a playoff after the Thai star made a brilliant eagle on his final hole to take the event into extra time.

Svensson takes a well-earned break this week as the tour stays in Asia for its final event before a three-week hiatus - partially due to The Masters taking place in the interim – with the players heading to DLF Golf & Country Club’s Gary Player Course for the Indian Open.

TOURNAMENT HISTORY

A version of the Indian Open has been played since the 1960s, though it only became part of the DP World Tour schedule in 2015. It was initially co-sanctioned with the Asian Tour before the PGTI (Professional Golf Tour of India) assumed co-sanctioning duty in 2023 following a three-year absence for the event due to the pandemic.

The first two DPWT editions of the tournament took place at Delhi Golf Club in 2015/2016 – won by Anirban Lahiri (2015) and SSP Chawrasia (2016) - before the famously challenging Gary Player Course at DLF G&CC took up hosting duties in 2017.

That 2017 edition witnessed Chawrasia successfully defending his title in emphatic fashion, firing a score of -10 for a seven-stroke victory. He was succeeded by Matt Wallace in 2018, who defeated fellow Englishman, Andrew Johnston in a playoff; succeeded by Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher the following year.

The Indian Open returned from its absence last year and saw an all-German top 2, as Marcel Siem saw off Yannik Paul by one stroke. Unfortunately, the German isn’t able to defend his title this week, as he continues his recovery following undergoing surgery on a persistent hip injury earlier in the year.

THE COURSE

Arnold Palmer designed the original DLF G&CC course in 1999, a layout which previously hosted the Avantha Masters on the DPWT from 2010-2012.

Gary Player was then called in to undertake an expansion/renovation project in 2014, building nine brand new-holes and remodelling nine of the Palmer originals; completing this striking new championship layout in 2015.

The course plays to a par 72 and measures a lengthy 7416 yards; possessing 10x par 4s (319-535 yards), 4x par 5s (558-624 yards) and 4x par 3s (178-256 yards).

DLG G&CC has provided a stern, often infuriating challenge since hosting this event. It averages a winning score of -11 over the four renewals and whilst the -14 winning score last year was the lowest of the events here, -5 was still enough for a top-10 finish.

This largely tree-lined venue features doglegs in both directions on almost every par 4/5 and dramatic elevation changes throughout.

The fairways are about average in width and possess some generous landing spot, however they are well protected by strategic and unique ridge-walled bunkering. Many of which are large and several that are incredibly steep-faced. Meaning a chip out sideways or even backwards may be the only option.

The huge, grainy bermudagrass greens are well contoured, heavily sloped and often multi-tiered; protected by run-off areas that send balls hurtling off greens into a mixture of that intimidating bunkering, tightly-mown chipping areas and some thick rough. Scrambling around the course not only ranked as the most difficult aspect of play here last year but it was the toughest scrambling challenge on tour.

Water is a strong feature of the front “lakes” nine, in-play on five holes (eight in total), including the 190-yard par 3 5th; where a large island green is surrounded by water.

The back nine is known as the quarry nine, with spectacularly distinctive manmade rock formations dominating the eye over the closing few holes; guarding the green on the monstrous 256-yard par 3 16th and is a danger the whole way up the 414-yard par 4 17th, where players must hit an approach directly over it into a hugely elevated putting surface.

The course finishes with the lengthy risk/reward 624-yard par 5 18th, however that length is offset slightly by a downhill approach into a huge green, with water hugging the layup area in the fairway to the left and guarding the front of the putting surface.

Whilst some of the stark design features aren’t for everyone, it certainly makes for an entertaining, hazardous finish, where anybody in contention can easily throw away several shots and eject themselves from contention.

THE WEATHER

The weather is set to be uncomfortably hot and dry this week, hitting highs of 37 degrees. Wind shouldn’t be too much of a factor, with a constant breeze of 6mph and gusts of just 16mph currently forecast.

KEY STATS

  • SG: Approach
  • Greens-in-Regulation
  • SG: Off-the-Tee/Driving Accuracy

Though players will need to do everything well at some point, I think it is important to primarily focus on those who are most likely to avoid the lurking dangers with high-class and precise ball-striking.

Marcel Siem produced quality in all areas when winning here last year but he ranked highest in greens-in-regulation, ranking 2nd and off-the-tee; where he combined length with accuracy.

Siem’s compatriot, Yannik Paul chased him home thanks to leading the field both in approach and GIR; whilst Joost Luiten in 3rd ranked 3rd in approach, 4th in GIR and 4th OTT; with the Dutchman also finding plenty of fairways, ranking 6th in driving accuracy.

2019 winner, Stephen Gallacher and runner-up Masahiro Kawamura are both precise drivers, whilst Gallacher produced a classy approach display ranking 2nd; as did Jorge Campillo in 3rd, who ranked 5th in approach.

Matt Wallace led the field OTT when winning in 2018; a year in which each member of the top 5 ranked top 20 in GIR; and 2017 winner, SSP Chawrasia was a steady, accuracy-dependent driver and solid iron player at his best.

  • SG: Putting (bermudagrass)
  • Three-Putt Avoidance
  • SG: Around-the-Greens

Whilst I feel that excellence in ball-striking is the key to unlocking the course, there’s no doubt that displaying sharpness on and around these at times brutally difficult putting surfaces has proved to be important.

Not only did Marcel Siem rank 5th in putting last year but I feel the three-putt-avoidance stat is also important on these large sloping greens, an area he ranked 1st; finishing the week as the only player not to record a single three-putt.

Stephen Gallacher ranked 11th around-the-greens and 13th in putting when winning in 2019; runner-up there, Masahiro Kawamura ranked 2nd ATG and 15th on them.

Matt Wallace combined his excellent driving with a quality short-game performance in 2018, ranking 2nd on the greens and 7th around them, and though we don’t have strokes-gained data available for 2017, SSP Chawrasia did lead the field in scrambling.

CORRELATING EVENTS (COURSES)

Andalucia Masters (Valderrama)

Valderrama looks a great comp for DLF G&CC. Another hugely challenging tree-lined course that features frequent, often vivid elevation changes and renowned for the complexity of the speedy, undulating putting surfaces and their surrounds. It’s no surprise to see many players carry form across these two courses.

Notable correlating form:

SSP Chawrasia:

India (1st) / Valderrama (9th)

Andrew Johnston:

India (2nd) / Valderrama (1st)

Gavin Green:

India (2nd) / Valderrama (8th)

Masahiro Kawamura:

India (2nd) / Valderrama (8th)

Joost Luiten:

India (3rd) / Valderrama (2nd, 2nd)

Scott Jamieson:

India (3rd) / Valderrama (6th)

Christiaan Bezuidenhout:

India (4th) / Valderrama (1st)

Julian Suri:

India (4th) / Valderrama (8th)

European Masters (Crans-sur-Sierre)

Though much shorter, the tree-lined course at Crans-sur-Sierre is packed full of dramatic elevation changes, doglegging fairways that are well protected by sand and greens that are littered with run-offs at their edges. All which has seen it develop strong form-ties with DLF.

Notable correlating form:

Matt Wallace:

India (1st) / European Masters (2nd)

Marcel Siem:

India (1st) / European Masters (7th)

Stephen Gallacher:

India (1st) / European Masters (9th)

Andrew Johnston:

India (2nd) / European Masters (3rd)

Masahiro Kawamura:

India (2nd) / European Masters (8th, 9th)

Gavin Green:

India (2nd) / European Masters (8th)

Matteo Manassero:

India (3rd) / European Masters (3rd)

Jorge Campillo:

India (3rd, 4th) / European Masters (4th)

Scott Jamieson:

India (3rd) / European Masters (4th)

Joost Luiten:

India (3rd) / European Masters (5th)

Matthias Schwab:

India (4th) / European Masters (8th)

Alfred Dunhill Championship (Leopard Creek)

Leopard Creek is another tree-lined Gary Player design. The undulating course has plenty of elevation changes – especially on the back nine – along with an emphasis on strong bunkering; both aside the fairways and around the speedy greens. Which, much like DLF, rank among the toughest to scramble around on tour.

Notable correlating form:

Andrew Johnston:

India (2nd) / Alfred Dunhill (3rd)

Scott Jamieson:

India (3rd) / Alfred Dunhill (3rd, 3rd, 4th)

Joost Luiten:

India (3rd) / Alfred Dunhill (5th)

Pablo Larrazabal:

India (4th) / Alfred Dunhill (1st, 1st)

Christiaan Bezuidenhout:

India (4th) / Alfred Dunhill (1st, 3rd)

Matthias Schwab:

India (4th) / Alfred Dunhill (11th, 13th)

George Coetzee:

India (6th, 8th) / Alfred Dunhill (3rd)

Wales Open (Celtic Manor – Twenty Ten Course)

Celtic Manor has often proven to be one of the most demanding and penal tests on tour, where first and foremost the long game has to be on point. Though more exposed than DLF, players are tasked with handling frequent elevation changes; large, speedy, undulating and multi-tiered greens; whilst there are several risk/reward holes around the property.

Notable correlating form:

Stephen Gallacher:

India (1st) / Wales (4th)

Marcel Siem:

India (1st) / Wales (7th)

Matt Wallace:

India (1st) / Wales (8th)

Andrew Johnston:

India (2nd) / Wales (3rd)

Masahiro Kawamura:

India (2nd) / Wales (5th)

Gavin Green:

India (2nd) / Wales (8th)

Joost Luiten:

India (3rd) / Wales (1st, 2nd, 4th)

Sihwan Kim:

India (3rd) / Wales (10th, 22nd)

Pablo Larrazabal:

India (4th) / Wales (4th)

BMW International Open (Golfclub Munchen Eichenried)

Despite being a more sympathetic test, there is something about the tree-lined Golfclub Munchen Eichenried that has enabled players to stack up crossover form across these two events. The ball-striking test is not too dissimilar, with plenty of doglegs there in Germany, whilst the two events possess almost identical average GIR percentages into their respective large putting surfaces.

Notable correlating form:

Matt Wallace:

India (1st) / BMW International (3rd)

Jorge Campillo:

India (3rd, 4th) / BMW International (3rd)

Joost Luiten:

India (3rd) / BMW International (2nd, 3rd)

Scott Jamieson:

India (3rd) / BMW International (3rd)

Pablo Larrazabal:

India (4th) / BMW International (1st, 1st)

Christiaan Bezuidenhout:

India (4th) / BMW International (3rd)

Matthias Schwab:

India (4th) / BMW International (3rd)

Kazuki Higa:

India (4th) / BMW International (10th)

George Coetzee:

India (6th, 8th) / BMW International (3rd)

OTHER

In addition to these courses, I did notice a striking amount of correlating form between DLF and the two events played in Korea and Thailand last year: the Korea Championship at Jack Nicklaus Golf Club and the Thailand Classic at Amata Spring CC.

Pablo Larrazabal won in Korea; Scott Jamieson and Jorge Campillo finished 3rd; whilst Joost Luiten finished 3rd at both courses. Yannik Paul was 2nd in Thailand the week prior to finishing 2nd here and fellow German, Alexander Knappe was 3rd there before going on to finish 6th here.

With just one recent event staged at each of those courses, it could turn out to be nothing but it is certainly something worth keeping an eye on this week, and could prove useful when we return to Korea in a few weeks.

THE FIELD

World #78, Rasmus Hojgaard is the highest-ranked player in the field and along with #88, Jordan Smith, they make up the only two players from inside the top 100 in the rankings.

In Marcel Siem’s absence, 2019 Indian Open winner, Stephen Gallacher is the most recent former champion in attendance. He is joined by our 2015 champion, Anirban Lahiri, who plays his national open for the first time in five years, after missing the event’s return in 2023.

Among this week’s tournament invites is talented New Zealander, Kazuma Kobori. The former top-25 amateur has already recorded three victories on the PGA of Australia this year to earn himself a spot on the DP World Tour for next year; something he can fast-track with a victory this week.

Other entrants of interest include last year’s runner-up, Yannik Paul and Laurie Canter, who returns from injury after withdrawing from the Dimension Data Pro-Am on the Challenge Tour at the beginning of February.

SELECTIONS

Market leaders: Rasmus Hojgaard 12/1, Jordan Smith 18/1, Anirban Lahiri 20/1, Bernd Wiesberger 22/1, Ewen Ferguson 22/1.

Rarely does an event go by on the DPWT that doesn’t look wide open and that’s again the case this week. Though I was keen on Wiesberger again after a promising effort in Singapore, he’s of little interest at almost half the price; the same applying to many at the very top.

However, there’s a proven winner at over ten points bigger than these market leaders, for who this test looks ideal and after recently rediscovering some form with his irons, Spain’s Adrian Otaegui heads this week’s selections.

1.5 pts Adrian Otaegui each-way (1/5 - 6 places) - 33/1 

Otaegui looked in good shape at the end of last year, where his approach play was some of the best and most consistent around. However, he struggled in this area at the beginning of 2024 which seriously impacted his results, recording three missed cuts and a best of 20th in the limited-field Dubai Invitational over his first six starts of the year.

He finally found something in approach in Kenya three starts ago, ranking 11th, which propelled him into a season’s best 4th-place finish. He also looked good in approach when finishing 24th in the SDC Championship on his next start and despite missing the cut in Singapore last week, I was buoyed by his approach play once again; the missed cut coming as a result of a poor week on the greens.

The Spaniard had been making gains on the greens across those recent starts prior to Singapore, therefore I’m hoping last week was a minor blip and if hitting the ball as well as he has over these recent weeks he should relish this week’s challenge.

Otaegui finished 10th at DLF on his only previous visit in 2019, where he looked good on these difficult greens. A win at Valderrama and runner-up finish at Leopard Creek in 2022 suggest that debut effort needn’t be a one-off, and I expect this accurate-driving type to be a serious player in India.

1.25 pts Frederic LaCroix each way (1/5 - 6 places) - 40/1

Frederic LaCroix was a touch disappointing when finishing 65th after putting him up in Singapore last week. However he hit the ball well enough and with his high-class ball-striking a major asset around this penal setup, I’m going to give him another shot at DLF G&CC.

LaCroix hasn’t been in quite the same form over his last three starts as he was when finishing 3rd in Ras Al Khaimah and 4th in Bahrain on his first two starts of 2024, though the ball-striking has remained strong.

He’s been the seventh-best tee-to-green player on tour this season, which has been especially aided by his long game; ranking 13th in approach, 13th in GIR and 20th OTT, where he is both long and accurate. Whilst a ranking of 19th in scrambling shows that if the ball-striking fails him, he has the tools to get it up and down here.

Though eventually finishing 57th due to a disastrous final-round 81, LaCroix’s debut here in 2023 offered plenty of promise. He responded to a 2-over 74 in round one by shooting two consecutive rounds under par and sat in 16th position at the close of round three. That experience should serve him well and with some positive efforts in Germany and Wales to his name, I’m confident the test suits.

1 pt Callum Shinkwin each way (1/5 - 8 places) - 55/1 

Callum Shinkwin finished 6th here on debut in 2019 after entering the final round in a share of the lead. Looking in good shape so far this year, he can again go well and becoming a two-time tour winner since then, he should be more comfortable if getting into a similar position this time around.

Shinkwin began his year with some notable performances in the Middle East, finishing 11th in the Dubai Desert Classic and 4th in the Ras Al Khaimah Championship over the course of his first three starts.

He then missed his first cut of the year in Bahrain, but responded well to finish 27th in Qatar and though missing the cut in Singapore last week, I’m hoping he’ll be all the sharper for that appearance following a six-week absence.

The Englishman has been typically strong with driver so far this year, ranking 4th; combing accuracy with power. The irons have been a little more subdued in recent starts though it is a positive to see him looking proficient with the putter, ranking 55th; as well as 38th in three-putt-avoidance, which should come in handy this week.

Shinkwin’s excellent record in Wales, where he’s won and recorded further finishes of 4th and 8th show his adaptability to these more difficult challenges and with any rustiness hopefully shaken off in Singapore, I’m expecting a much better performance in India.

1 pt Marcus Helligkilde each way (1/5 - 8 places) - 55/1

We witnessed one talented young Scandi record a first tour win last week and I’m wondering if it will finally be the turn of Denmark’s Marcus Helligkilde to enter the DPWT winner’s circle this week.

Helligkilde has been a name on many people’s lips after his superb three-win season on the Challenge Tour earned him a full-time step up to the DPWT in 2022. He’s regularly threatened since that promotion and recorded a best finish on tour in the potentially correlating Korea Championship last year when finishing 2nd. Signs at the start of 2024 suggest that he may be ready to go one better.

He’s teed it up just five times this year and hasn’t missed a cut. Two of those five appearances have resulted in top 25s, when finishing 23rd in the Ras Al Khaimah Championship and he improved on that by finishing 16th in last week’s Singapore Classic. A week which started with a 1-over 73 to sit 94th after round one and ended with him shooting a 6-under 66 – the fourth-best round of the final day – to jump into that top 20.

Helligkilde is a good all-rounder, gaining strokes in every area last year and it’s that all-round quality that took him to a season’s best finish last week.

Though making his debut here, we can draw optimism from that runner-up finish in Korea last year, along with his strong record at Crans, where he’s finished 13th and 29th on his only two visits to date.

1 pt Aaron Cockerill each way (1/5 - 6 places) - 60/1

Aaron Cockerill has been in fine form at the start of 2024 and I’m hoping that can inspire him to a first pro victory at this week’s suitable setup.

Cockerill was struggling for form at the end of last season but immediately found something at the beginning of the new season, in South Africa at the end of last year. He then carried this over into 2024, finishing 4th in Dubai on his first start of 2024 and followed it with further finishes of 23rd and 6th in the Middle East.

Though he hasn’t hit as lofty a position on the leaderboard over his three most recent starts, there has been little wrong with his game and he looks perfectly suited statistically to DLF G&CC.

The Canadian is a rock-solid and accurate ball-striker, ranking 21st in driving accuracy and 39th in GIR this season. He marries this with an excellent short game, ranking 14th in putting and 20th ATG; as another player who rarely three-putts, ranking 3rd in three-putt avoidance, he has the skillset to tame this infamously tough challenge on debut.

A 4th-place finish at the Player-designed Leopard Creek in 2022 is an attractive piece of correlating form for Cockerill and with top-25 performances in Korea and Wales to boot, there are plenty of reasons to be encouraged in relation to his chances in India.

1 pt Jamie Donaldson each way (1/5 - 8 places) - 150/1

I did consider the talented New Zealander, Kobori, who looks a decent price at 100/1. However with two missed cuts on his only other DPWT-sanctioned starts – albeit only narrow and in better company – I preferred to take a watching brief.

This is a course that requires patience and it’s no coincidence that the last two winners here have been over 40s. With that, I’m going to complete the selections with Wales’ forty-something Jamie Donaldson, after his eye-catching 4th-place finish in South Africa two starts ago.

Donaldson has been consistent at the start of the year, making four of five cuts but that effort in South Africa - at St Francis Links in the SDC Championship - was not only his best performance of this year but his first top 5 since finishing 2nd at Wentworth in 2021.

That was a performance that was engineered by some steady, accurate ball-striking, combined with an electric short-game display, especially on the greens. Very much the calling card of the three-time tour winner in recent years.

A similar performance from Donaldson will certainly work at DLF, a course at which he sat inside the top 25 at the end of his first three rounds in 2018 before eventually finishing 34th. His suitability for the test is emphasised by top-5 finishes at Valderrama, Crans and in Wales.

You can find all Jamie's latest Golf Betting Tips over on our dedicated golf Insights hub.

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