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Hero assumes English Open title sponsorship after European Tour schedule disruption

Bernd Wiesberger in action during Hero Challenge before 2020 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

Indian motorcycle manufacturer Hero MotorCorp has taken up the title sponsorship rights to the English Open, a European Tour event taking place this summer as part of a revamped six-week ‘UK swing’.

The event at the Forest of Arden Marriott Hotel & Country Club on the outskirts of Birmingham, which takes place from July 30 to August 2, will now be known as the Hero Open, carrying a prize fund of £1m (€1.1m/$1.26m).

The cluster approach of a UK Swing marks the return of the European Tour following the shutdown prompted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Hero Open will be the second of six successive events held in the UK. Hero is already a long-standing sponsor of the Betfred British Masters hosted by Lee Westwood, which begins on July 22 and will the first event of the six.

Hero has backed the European Tour’s night golf, a concept in which players go head-to-head in a sudden-death format under lights in iconic locations worldwide. The India-based company has extended its support until 2022 although this season’s line-up of ‘Hero Challenge’ events has been disrupted by the changes to the European Tour schedule and some will now not be held.

This year’s editions of the Hero Indian Open and the Hero Women’s Indian Open, stops on the European Tour and the Ladies European Tour, respectively, have also been cancelled due to Covid-19.

Keith Pelley, chief executive of the European Tour, said: “We are thrilled to strengthen our partnership with Hero MotoCorp during the upcoming UK Swing, particularly with the support they have shown as title partner of the Hero Open. We are delighted to have their continued commitment during these unprecedented times, and we must thank [Hero chairman and chief executive] Dr Pawan Munjal for his vision as Hero continue to help us showcase our fantastic game to the rest of the world.”