In India for golf, but IPL on their minds

Be it India’s Shiv Kapur or South African Brandon Stone, the golfers gathered in Gurgaon for the Hero Indian Open are keen on catching some games.

South African Brandon Stone, a die-hard cricket follower, not just wants to watch an IPL match on Saturday in New Delhi, but is also determined to turn his Austrian friend and fellow European Tour player Bernd Wiesberger into a cricket fan.   -  AP

Golfers from across the world who have gathered in Gurgaon for the Hero Indian Open, starting Thursday, plan to catch their favourites Indian Premier League teams in action.

Be it India’s Shiv Kapur or South African Brandon Stone, the golfers are keeping a close eye on the ongoing tournament.

Although the focus is solely on winning the Hero Indian Open title, Shiv Kapur, a Delhi Capitals fan, is also keenly following the IPL matches.

“I loved a touch of cricket when we were in New Zealand and I played the event, which was a unique format with Stephen Fleming. We are playing the Pro-Am together on Wednesday,” said Kapur.

Scottish Open winner Stone, a die-hard cricket follower, not just wants to watch an IPL match on Saturday in New Delhi, but is also determined to turn his Austrian friend and fellow European Tour player Bernd Wiesberger into a cricket fan.

“I’ve got a few mates playing here for the Delhi Capitals in Kagiso Rabada and Chris Morris who have promised me tickets for the matches against Chennai Super Kings today and Kolkata Knight Riders on Saturday,” the 25-year-old from Rustenberg said.

“I’ll probably take Bernd along with me for the KKR game, and hopefully by the time that’s done, he will have some idea about cricket,” he added.

Stone, who shot a stunning 10-under 60 enroute to his Scottish Open win last year, said there would be South African connection also in the form of Jacques Kallis.

“Also Jacques Kallis will be there as KKR coach so there’s another South African connection for me,” he said.

The $1.75m Hero Indian Open will feature 156 players from 30 at the DLF Golf and Country Club.

Speaking at a press meet along with Wiesberger and England’s Aaron Rai, Stone said watching an IPL game in India had been on his list of things to do ever since he had watched the tournament when it was played in South Africa in 2009.

“That was a brilliant tournament and I’ve always wanted to see an IPL game in India ever since. I’m definitely going to be at the Saturday game, hopefully with a few birdies under my belt and sitting comfortably in the tournament.”

Wiesberger, who doesn’t have much idea about cricket, said while he preferred skiing, he would backing the better team to win.

“I have no idea which one that will be though,” he said, but Stone added: “By the time we’re done, he (Wiesberger) will hopefully have become a Delhi Capitals fan.”.