New Delhi, March 12: Defending champion and home favourite SSP Chawrasia raced to victory in the Hero Indian Open, winning by 7 shots from Malaysia’s Gavin Green at DLF Golf & Country Club.
The 38-year-old Chawrasia, who triumphed by two strokes last season, ground out a final round of one-under-par 71 to seal his sixth Asian Tour victory and fourth European Tour title at DLF’s demanding Gary Player course with a winning score of 10-under-par 278. Victory was worth US$291,660 and pushed him up to second place on the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit behind American David Lipsky.
Playing on a sponsor’s invite, Green finished an impressive second after signing off with a 75. His sterling effort – highlighted by a second round 65 – sealed full playing rights for next season’s Asian Tour after picking a runner-up cheque worth US$194,440.
“I came into the week not hitting it that well. My goal was to make the cut but I somehow found something in the second round and the third round and it clicked well. SSP played great and hats off to him,” said Green, whose previous best finish on the Asian Tour was tied sixth in the 2013 Selangor Masters while he was still an amateur.
Returning to DLF early Sunday to complete the last seven holes of his third round, the straight-shooting Chawrasia opened up a two-shot advantage after 54 holes, thanks to three straight birdies from the 13th to 15th holes. Throughout the final round, the local hero was never threatened, extending his lead to five through the turn after he bounced back for bogeys on six and seven with birdies on eight and nine.
Another birdie on 13 put daylight between him and the chasing pack and Chawrasia soon strolled home to his “best win” of his career yet in front of his adoring fans.
Scotsman Scott Jamieson (72) and Italian Matteo Manassero (73) shared third place, eight behind the winner.
Malaysia’s Danny Chia, who co-led at the halfway stage but suffered an unfortunate nine on the second hole of his third round, finished 29th on +6. The other Malaysian in the field, Nicholas Fung, was 51st on +12.
Results (Top 10 and ties)
278 – S.S.P. CHAWRASIA (IND) 72-67-68-71.
285 – Gavin GREEN (MAS) 72-73-65-75.
286 – Scott JAMIESON (SCO) 70-74-70-72, Matteo MANASSERO (ITA) 68-73-72-73.
287 – Anirban LAHIRI (IND) 76-73-67-71, Rafa CABRERA BELLO (ESP) 73-73-70-71, Carlos PIGEM (ESP) 69-73-67-78.
288 – David HORSEY (ENG) 66-74-76-72, George COETZEE (RSA) 73-74-69-72, Michael HOEY (NIR) 71-71-71-75.