SSP Chawrasia defends Delhi title as Michael Hoey slips back

Chawrasia wins his fourth European Tour title and the fourth secured on home soil

SSP Chawrasia successfully defended his Indian Open title in Delhi. Photograph: Sajjad Hussain/AFP

SSP Chawrasia successfully defended his Indian Open title in Delhi. Photograph: Sajjad Hussain/AFP

 

SSP Chawrasia claimed his fourth European Tour title on home soil, and a fourth in Delhi, after mounting a hugely impressive title defence in the Hero Indian Open.

Chawrasia carded a final round of 71 to finish 10 under par and seven shots ahead of Malaysia’s Gavin Green, with just seven players ending the tournament under par.

Meanwhile Michael Hoey’s challenge faded on Sunday, as he followed up three consecutive 71s with a 75 to finish the tournament on level par and with a share of eighth place.

Ahead of him Italy’s Matteo Manassero and Scotland’s Scott Jamieson shared third place on two under, with Spain’s Carlos Pigem carding a double bogey on the 72nd hole to drop into a tie for fifth with compatriot Rafa Cabrera Bello and former champion Anirban Lahiri.

Chawrasia ranks 195th out of 196 for driving distance on the European Tour and was not expected to be suited by the change of venue from the tight, tree-lined Delhi Golf Club to DLF Golf and Country Club, which can play to more than 7,600 yards.

But the diminutive 38-year-old managed his game superbly and utilised his brilliant short game to card just six bogeys all week.

“I’m winning back-to-back so I’m really very happy,” Chawrasia said. “I was very happy to have everyone supporting me and having my wife here too to see me winning the Indian Open two times.

“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.

“This is probably my best win of my career as it was a really tough course. This week I made less mistakes and others made more mistakes.”

Chawrasia, Pigem and England’s Eddie Pepperell shared the lead when the delayed third round resumed on Sunday, with Chawrasia carding a hat-trick of birdies from the 13th to establish a two-shot lead.

In contrast, Pepperell played his last seven holes in seven over par to drop out of contention and eventually finished in a tie for 22nd after a closing 76.

Chawrasia extended his lead in the final round with a birdie on the fourth and although he bogeyed the sixth and seventh, birdies on the next two holes gave him a commanding advantage which was never threatened.

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