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13.03.2017 - European Tour, Hero Indian Open Venue, DLFGolf and Country Club, final report. Chawrasia cruises to home victory

SSP Chawrasia made history with an assured Hero Indian Open victory as he became the first Indian to successfully defend a European Tour title. His ten under par total sealed a seven shot winning margin and continued a remarkable record at his national Open, where he was runner-up four times before finally triumphing last season.

SSP

The home favourite started the day in a share of the lead at DLF Golf and Country Club but had moved two shots ahead of Spain’s Carlos Pigem when the third round of the weather-delayed tournament was completed on Sunday morning. © Getty Images

 The 38 year old never looked in any danger of relinquishing his hold on the trophy during the afternoon, eventually signing for a one under par 71. Dropped shots on the sixth and seventh holes did not ruffle the composed home favourite, who immediately responded with back-to-back birdies, before adding another on the 13th to all but ensure the win.Another dropped shot on the 18th failed to take the shine off an impressive week, as he sealed his fourth European Tour title with the highest winning total to par (278) of the 2017 season so far.

“I feel great as it’s one of the toughest courses I’ve played, and winning by seven shots, I’m really happy. Honestly, this is very special to win back to back. I think this is one of the toughest courses I’ve played in my career. I’m not comfortable on the course, I’m nervous on every single shot. When I finished the third round, I knew I had a few shots lead into the final round. I didn’t need birdies, I was just aiming for pars in the final round.  I learned many things this week and hopefully I can play better in Europe. That’s my target next, I have to win in Europe.§

 

Rookie Gavin Green took second place at three under par. The Malaysian lit up the tournament during the third round on Saturday with a stunning six birdie streak, to seal a 65 and the lowest round of the week, but his challenge faltered with a final round 75 that included five bogies. Scott Jamieson of Scotland (72)and Italy’s Matteo Manassero (73) were tied for third place at two under par. Meanwhile there was heartbreak for Pigem who double-bogeyed the 18th to sign for a 78 and drop back into a share of fifth place at one under par alongside 2015 winner Anirban Lahiri (71) and the highest ranked player in the field, Rafa Cabrera Bello (71). Spaniard Cabrera Bello completed a round that distilled the highs and lows many players experienced on the challenging Gary Player course this week. A potentially damaging run of two bogies and a double-bogey from the fifth hole was immediately cancelled out by an eagle and two birdies.