New Delhi, April 19 (IANS) Hero MotoCorp on Wednesday reaffirmed its commitment to innovation on the European Tour golf season by extending the 'Hero Challenge by another three years and to three marquee events.
The Hero Challenge will mark its return this year with three editions, firstly at the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at Dundonald before returning to the British Masters supported by Sky Sports at Close House and then finishing at the DP World Tour Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai, according to a release.
Hero MotoCorp boss Pawan Munjal attended the European Tour's annual dinner during Masters week in Augusta National in California a fortnight ago to address the world's media about the plans, ahead of the official announcement.
Munjal said: "We all recognize that golf needs a lot more of innovation to attract a younger and newer generation of fans and the Hero Challenge is an initiative in that direction. As a partner of the European Tour, we introduced the 'Hero Challenge' at the British Masters last year, which proved to be an immense success.
"That success has encouraged us to extend and expand our partnership with the European Tour by another three years to multiple events. We have been fortunate to get the support of all the top professionals, and some icons from other fields as well, who also understand the need to popularize the sport."
European Tour Chief Executive Officer Keith Pelley said: "We are delighted that Hero MotoCorp, through the vision and commitment of Pawan Munjal, have shown such incredible support not only for the European Tour, but for our desire to bring the game of golf to new audiences through innovation.
"We firmly believe in the direction we are taking and it is clear that Hero share that belief. The inaugural Hero Challenge was a terrific success at the British Masters last year and led the way in terms of innovative concepts for ourselves at the European Tour.
One of the stars already committed to playing is former World No.1 and Ryder Cup legend Lee Westwood, who will compete in the Hero Challenge during the British Masters supported by Sky Sports at the end of September, the event where he is taking on the role of tournament host this year.
"I watched last year's Hero Challenge at The Grove and it looked a lot of fun so I was delighted to put my name forward for this year's event at Close House," said the 23-time European Tour champion.
As well as enhancing its reputation for innovation, today's announcement also further strengthens Hero MotoCorp's support for the European Tour where it has sponsored the co-sanctioned Hero Indian Open with the Asian Tour since 2005.
As well as backing the Hero Indian Open, Hero has supported the Women's Indian Open since 2010, while it has also sponsored India's domestic women's professional tour.