Hero MotoCorp, the world’s largest manufacturer of motorcycles and scooters, has further strengthened its commitment to innovation in golf by extending the ‘Hero Challenge’ on the European Tour by another three years and increasing the number of annual events from three to five.
The European Tour’s exciting and fast-paced shootout will feature 15 times from 2020-2022 at different iconic locations around the world.
The series of five annual events will begin in 2020 with the Abi Dhabi HSBC Championship, the first Rolex Series event of the season, before moving to Europe for three more exciting appearances, including the Betfred British Masters, to be hosted by Lee Westwood at Close House. The series finale will take place in Dubai and will feature the winners of all four Hero Challenges from the particular season who will compete at the European Tour’s season-ending DP World Tour Championship.
Dr. Pawan Munjal, Chairman, Hero MotoCorp, and one of India’s foremost corporate leaders, made the announcement during the Hero Challenge ahead of DP World Tour Championship, Dubai. Played at the iconic Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai, the occasion marked the tenth edition of the Hero Challenge, which was introduced on the European Tour in 2016.
Erik van Rooyen emerged as the winner of the final Hero Challenge of 2019, defeating Major Champions — Shane Lowry, Patrick Reed, Henrik Stenson and Danny Willett and Ryder Cup star Rafa Cabrera Bello.
Dr. Munjal said, “Golf has rapidly gained prominence at the world stage, yet there is a constant need to push the envelope and bring innovation to attract younger audiences. With this focus, we introduced the Hero Challenge on the European Tour in 2016 and this distinct format has greatly appealed to a new league of followers over the years. The overwhelming success of Hero Challenge has encouraged us to further strengthen our association with the European Tour and we are now hosting this event at five different venues annually until 2022. We have been immensely encouraged by the support and participation of all the icons of the game and will continue to work towards popularising the sport across the world.”
Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the European Tour, said: “We are thrilled to extend our partnership with Hero MotoCorp for a further three years and we are delighted they share our passion for innovation. Thanks to the vision of Pawan Munjal, the creation of the Hero Challenge has taken golf and our global stars to some iconic locations around the world. We are extremely excited to be expanding this concept with additional events over the next three years as we take the Hero Challenge to some spectacular new locations.”
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The Hero Challenge was introduced in 2016 at The Grove prior to the British Masters. Since then, the innovative contest has been held at iconic venues around the world including Edinburgh Castle in Scotland, Canary Wharf in London, the Liverpool docks in front of the world-famous Liver Building, and the iconic Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai, showcasing the fast-paced event to a global audience.
Each edition has featured a world-class field featuring some of the world’s leading players, including an array of Major Champions and Ryder Cup stars. In 2019, the Hero Challenge welcomed its first female star when Solheim Cup and Ladies European Tour winner Charley Hull teed it up at the action-packed event in Liverpool.
The Hero Challenge is broadcast around the world with a household reach of more than 125 million for each event and is live streamed on the European Tour’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.
The announcement further strengthens Hero MotoCorp’s support of the European Tour, with the world’s largest manufacturer of motorcycles and scooters having also been title sponsor of the Hero Indian Open, a co-sanctioned event with the Asian Tour, since it became part of the Tour’s schedule in 2015. As well as backing the Hero Indian Open, Hero has also supported the Women’s Indian Open since 2010, and has sponsored India’s domestic women’s professional tour.