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The European Tour has announced the cancellation of this year’s Hero Indian Open amidst concerns over the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

The tournament had been scheduled to take place from October 28-31 but the tour has decided to pull the plug on it as the pandemic continues to rage across India.

With just over 30 million confirmed cases, India is the second-most affected country behind the United States, which has 33 million cases. It was revealed earlier today that it has reached the grim milestone of 400,000 deaths from the coronavirus, half of them during a second wave in the past few months.

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Over 100,000 of the fatalities have been recorded in the last 39 days, whilst some experts have suggested that the country has under-counted COVID-19 deaths and that the real mortality rate could be over one million.

In a statement, the European Tour said: “With the safety of everyone involved in the tournament being the main priority and travel to and from India remaining challenging, the decision has been taken following consultation with the Indian Golf Union, the Asian Tour and the tournament title sponsor Hero MotoCorp Ltd.”

The tour added that it will look to fill the vacancy on the schedule with a replacement tournament but there are “no definitive plans as to where that will be”.

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Despite having first been played in 1964, the Hero Indian Open has only been part of the European Tour schedule since 2015.

It was most recently staged in 2019, when Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher chalked up his fourth victory on the tour courtesy of a one-shot victory over Japan’s Masahiro Kawamura at DLF Golf and Country Club.

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Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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