March 12, 2017: SSP Chawrasia made European Tour history as he blew away the rest of the field to successfully defend his title at the Hero Indian Open.
The home favourite started the day in a share of the lead at DLF Golf and Country Club but had moved two shots ahead when the third round of the weather-delayed tournament was completed on Sunday morning.
He did not look back in round four, signing for a 71 and sealing a season-high equalling seven-shot win over Malaysia’s Gavin Green.
The victory continued his remarkable record at his national Open where he was runner-up four times before finally triumphing last season.
This second win in New Delhi made him the first Indian to successfully defend a European Tour title and the first player to win their first four events in their home country.
He also became the first player to successfully defend a European Tour title since Branden Grace won the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters in 2016.
Chawrasia had to return to complete seven holes of his third round in the morning after lightning delays on days one and two but showed no adverse effects as he birdied the 13th, 14th – where he chipped in – and 15th to get to nine under.
A trio of pars with good saves on the second and third then followed to start the final round before the 38 year old spun his approach to the par five fourth close for a first birdie of the day and a four-shot lead.
That was cut to three as the leader failed to get up and down on the sixth and while he dropped another shot on the seventh, a smart birdie after laying up extended the advantage on the eighth.
An excellent approach to the ninth then brought another birdie and Chawrasia was in total control with a five-shot lead at the turn.
Chawrasia was totally dialled-in and another excellent approach to 15 feet on the 13th meant he was 11 under before he bogeyed the last due to an ultra-cautious game-plan.
Green never truly threatened Chawrasia’s dominance, making two birdies and five bogeys in a 75 that helped him seal his first European Tour top ten.
World Number 26 Cabrera Bello had a roller coaster of a 71 containing an eagle, six birdies, five bogeys and a double, with Lahiri signing for the same score.
George Coetzee, Michael Hoey and David Horsey were then at level par to round out the top ten.
Thai Prayad Marksaeng produced the first albatross of the season, holing his approach to the 18th with a four iron.