Chawrasia savours long awaited hero Indian Open triumph; Lahiri, Wang tied 2nd

SSP CHOWRASIA 26New Delhi: SSP Chawrasia of India birdied the last hole for a one-under-par 71 to claim a popular two-shot victory over Anirban Lahiri and Jeunghun Wang at the US$1.66 million Hero Indian Open on Sunday.

Chawrasia, who finished second four times prior to this win, was delighted to hold on to his overnight lead and cross the finishing line with a winning total of 15-under-par 273 in the event sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour.

Lahiri, the reigning Asian Tour number one, missed his birdie attempt on the last for a 69 to settle for tied second place alongside Korean rising star Wang who returned with a battling 68 at the challenging Delhi Golf Club.

“It is a very important day for me. I have finished second four times in the Indian Open and every time that happen to me I wondered if I would ever be able to one day be the champion. This year, I came believing I had to win. I knew that I could do it,” said Chawrasia, who won US$276,660.

It was a close and dramatic battle in the final 18 holes as numerous players came within striking distance of Chawrasia’s lead when he was one-over after 12 holes.

He rallied with a birdie on 13 and when it mattered most, produced a sublime chip on the last hole to set-up his winning three foot birdie putt. Lahiri also had a birdie chance which he missed.

“There was a lot of pressure on me on the last hole but I had to say thank God when Anirban missed his birdie putt! I played a great chip there and then when he missed I knew I would win the tournament.

“This win means so much to me. I don’t know how I will celebrate it. I will let my wife do that for me. Last year when I lost, she was crying so now we can both enjoy this victory together,” smiled Chawrasia, who won his fourth Asian Tour title.

Lahiri piled the early pressure on Chawrasia when he birdied his opening three holes but struggled to keep pace as he settled for joint runner-up.

“It was pretty intense. I got off to a great start but lost a bit of momentum after that. I gave myself a lot of chances but missed quite few from 15-20 feet but at the end of day, SSP hung tough and played very well,” he said.

“There is nothing sweeter than being the Indian Open champion. It was a disappointing finish after a promising start for me. But I am so happy for SSP. This win is huge for him,” added Lahiri.

Wang, a member of Team Asia at the EurAsia Cup earlier this year, came close to winning his first Asian Tour title before settling for second best after producing a bogey-free 68 highlighted by four birdies.

“I gave my best out there. I’m very proud with how I played. I had a chance to win but it is okay because Chawrasia played very well. I’m happy with my performance and I hope to continue to do well. One day, my win will come,” said the 20-year-old Wang.

Without playing a practice round, Angelo Que of the Philippines fired a stunning 65 to charge up the leaderboard and finish in tied fourth place alongside Brazil’s Adilson Da Silva on 276s, three shots from the champion.

“When you shoot bogey free and a 65 on this course, well that’s something. I didn’t have any trouble today. I hit it really well. My irons were spot on and my putting helped. I’m very happy because I came in on the Thursday morning,” said the bubbly Filipino.

Scores after round 4 of the Hero Indian Open 2016 being played at the par 72, 6983 Yards Delhi GC course (am - denotes amateur):
273 - S.S.P. CHAWRASIA (IND) 67-67-68-71.
275 - Jeunghun WANG (KOR) 67-74-66-68, Anirban LAHIRI (IND) 68-71-67-69.
276 - Angelo QUE (PHI) 70-71-70-65, Adilson DA SILVA (BRA) 72-66-69-69.
278 - Gregory HAVRET (FRA) 68-70-71-69, Daniel IM (USA) 65-74-70-69, Thangaraja N. (SRI) 69-71-68-70, Rashid KHAN (IND) 69-68-69-72.
279 - David LIPSKY (USA) 69-67-75-68, Shiv KAPUR (IND) 72-67-70-70, Jorge CAMPILLO (ESP) 66-71-71-71, Julien QUESNE (FRA) 70-68-70-71, Rahil GANGJEE (IND) 69-72-66-72.
280 - Jbe KRUGER (RSA) 71-70-71-68, Jazz JANEWATTANANOND (THA) 71-69-70-70, Maximilian KIEFFER (GER) 69-70-70-71, Alejandro CANIZARES (ESP) 68-69-71-72, Terry PILKADARIS (AUS) 67-64-73-76.
281 - Danny CHIA (MAS) 70-71-71-69, Arjun ATWAL (IND) 70-71-67-73, Sebastien GROS (FRA) 69-70-68-74.
282 - Chris PAISLEY (ENG) 70-68-78-66, Jeev Milkha SINGH (IND) 72-71-71-68, Chapchai NIRAT (THA) 70-71-71-70, Ajeetesh SANDHU (IND) 76-66-70-70.
283 - Nicholas FUNG (MAS) 73-70-72-68, Nacho ELVIRA (ESP) 66-68-79-70, Shamim KHAN (IND) 71-70-72-70, Sanjay KUMAR (IND) 67-72-72-72.