March 31, 2019: Bangalore’s Chikkarangappa S. and Rashid Khan of Delhi emerged as the best-placed home players on the final day of the $1.75 million Hero Indian Open 2019 that ended at the DLF Golf and Country Club course in a fine victory for 44-year-old Scotsman Stephen Gallacher here on Sunday.
Among other Indians, Shubhankar Sharma’s woes with the eighth continued as he put two balls into the water, after going into the lake once each on previous two days. He shot 75 and ended even par 288 for the week and was Tied-27th.
Gaganjeet Bhullar (71) rose to T-39th, two-time Hero Indian Open winner SSP Chawrasia (75) was T-45th, Ajeetesh Sandhu (75) was T-54th, while Rahil Gangjee (80) and Gaurav Pratap Singh (82) were T-69th ended well down the field as windy conditions on the final day hurt almost every golfer out on the course.
Chikka started the day in joint sixth place five shots off the pace and was quickly into his stride with a birdie on his very first hole, just as he had done on Saturday. Unlike day three however, the 24-year-old could not build on that momentum and his run was badly dented with a double-bogey 5 on the par-3 fifth hole.
After that it was more damage limitation all the way as another double and a bogey followed on the back nine, leaving him too far off the pace to mount a serious challenge. Even though players ahead were dropping shots almost on a regular basis, Chikka could not put together the sort of run he had managed on Saturday and he could only watch as Gallacher took home a winner’s cheque of $291,660 just three shots ahead of where he had started.
In all the carnage, though Rashid played some steady golf for his second sub-par round of the week with a 2-under 70. He mixed five bogeys with three bogeys to rise up the leader-board even as others around him continued to falter. He and Chikka had a four-day aggregate of 4-under 284.
Shubhankar was never really in the hunt and two doubles and as many bogeys meant he finished on level par 288 (69, 73, 71. 75).
Sharma said, “That hole (eighth) really had me this week,” said Sharma, who dropped four shots at the Par-5 eighth. “Things just did not go well this week, despite a fine start on Thursday. Still I would say the game is trending in right direction and hopefully it was turn around for the good.”