Gurugram, March 12, 2017: You need character and strength to survive the furnace of sport. SSP Chawrasia showcased both traits in abundance on a memorable Sunday at the DLF Golf & Country Club. Chawrasia produced another disciplined effort to clinch a thrilling victory and defend the Hero Indian Open. Victory earned Chawrasia €275,828 and helped him return inside the top 200 on the OWGR. Chawrasia shot a determined 71 to steer clear and coast to a memorable seven shot victory over Gavin Green. The Indian ended the week at a commanding 10-under 278 – only seven golfers broke par and just ten men finished par or better.
Carlos Pigem and Gavin Green scented an opportunity at the start of the day, but Chawrasia was too focused on the task at hand. The 38 year old Indian became the first since Jyoti Randhawa to defend the Indian Open title.
It was also his fourth European Tour title, all won on home soil.
S S P Chawrasia also won the 2008 EMAAR-MGF Indian Masters, 2011 Avantha Masters and the 2016 & 2017 Hero Indian Open.
Anirban Lahiri secured a top five finish, with a resolute effort on Sunday. He made a hat-trick of birdies in the morning to wrap up his third round, before rounding off a testing week with a steady 71 in the final round.
But the day and week belonged truly to Chawrasia. The affable golfer from Kolkata showed remarkable poise and intuitiveness on a course that left the field bruised and battered. After opening with a 72 on Thursday, Chawrasia drew clear with a brilliant 67 and 68 in the middle rounds.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing though. Chawrasia suffered a hiccup when he missed just right at the sixth and seventh holes. The two bogeys reminded fans of the meltdown in Delhi two years ago. Comfortably ahead on Sunday, a bogey at the third and an ugly double at the next threw Chawrasia off the rails. He would slip into a playoff with Anirban that day, before losing it.
There was no such tragedy today. Instead he responded with a forceful birdie at the eighth hole. The long putt restored his confidence before a brilliant approach at the ninth set up another birdie. Chawrasia drew eight strokes clear with a birdie at the 13th, making it a near formality from there.
Pigem and Green were tied in at three under, but the former conceded a double bogey at the 18th hole to slip into T5 with Anirban. Green finished in second place, ahead of Scott Jamieson. Matteo Manassero was tied in third with the Scottish golfer.
Rafa Cabrera Bello, the highest ranked golfer this week finished in a tie for fifth as well. David Horsey, George Coetzee and Michael Hoey rounded off the top ten.