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Gallacher wins Hero Indian Open; Rashid, Chikka finish tied 10th
Gurugram, March 31, 2019
First round joint leader Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher survived a quadruple-bogey disaster and staged a stunning comeback, carding three birdies in the last four holes for one under 71 fourth round, to pip Japan’s Masahiro Kawamura by a shot to claim the $ 1.75 million Hero Indian Open Golf at the DLF Golf and Country Club here on Sunday.
Gallacher’s aggregate of nine-under-par 279 give him a one-shot lead over Kawamura. The 44-year-old Scot held his nerves round as he recovered from a horrible quadruple-bogey on hole seven to take home the winner’s prize purse of $291,660.
Kawamura had a chance to force a play-off with Gallacher at the last but could not take it into extra time as he could only make par. The Japanese settled for second place on his own following a 73.
"I was chasing the lead and was three behind to start the day. I got off to a slow start and then made a quadruple bogey but I was very calm, saw that I was only 5 behind. I told myself, just stick in there. You never know on this golf course, it can turn around very quickly, given how tough it's playing and then I went three under in the last three holes,” the Scot said after the win.
About the quad bogey, he said, “I actually forgot all about it. It was a tough pin and I was trying to get my drive as long as possible as it was down wind and it ended up left against the fence on the left. Changed club to a three wood and the next shot I lost the ball as well so I went back to start again. Got on the green and two-putted that."
Local favourites Rashid Khan (70) and S. Chikkarangappa (74) finished as the highest-placed Indians in tied-10th position.
Finland’s Kalle Samooja aced the 12th hole from 127 metres with his pitching wedge, marking the first time in the history of the Indian Open that three hole-in-ones were made in the same year.
Chikkarangappa (74-70-66-74), who had raised hopes of the home fans by finishing tied 6th after the third round, failed to produce the same form and returned a poor 2 over 74 last round to slip to four places down the rung.
Chikka had double bogeys on the 5th and 10th and he also dropped a stroke on the 14th. He hit three birdies and with an aggregate of 4 under 214 shared the tied place with 7 others including compatriot Rashid Khan and overnight joint leader Sihwan Kim.
Young Rashid Khan (72,70,72,70), who was tied 21st after a 72 on Saturday, came up with much improved showing, firing two under last round which propelled him to tied 10th with a total of 4 under 284.
Playing steady golf Rashid hit birdies on the 2nd and 9th but dropped strokes on 5th and 8th to go out at par 36. Coming back he started with a bogey but recovered his ground by hitting two successive birdies on the 11th and 12th to complete his round at 70.
Two-time European Tour winner Shubhankar Sharma, who was overnight tied 15th, had a poor last round day as he carded three over par 75 to tumbled 12 places to end tied 27 at par 288.
Shubhankar Sharma (69-73-71-75), unlike yesterday when he had recovered well after an early double-bogey, could not do an encore on the last. He had two double bogeys on the 8th and 14 and he also missed shots on the 11th and 12th. His three birdies on 2nd, 15 and 18th reduced the gap to some extent in this round.
Gaganjeet Bhullar had a one under 71 round and that took him up 24 places to end at tied 39 with three over 291
Former champion SSP Chawrasia tied 47 overnight returned three over 75 round and with a tournament total of four over 292 ended two places above at tied 45.
Ajeetesh Sandhu (74,71,73,75) with three over par last round stayed put at tied 54 with five over 293 total. Gaurav Pratap Singh and Rahil Gangjee were tied 69 at 13 over 301.
(Our News Desk can be contacted at email@example.com)
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