Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher turned the clock back with a sterling finish, hitting three birdies in the last four holes to win the Hero Indian Open and end his five-year title drought, in Delhi on Sunday.
The 44-year-old Gallacher kept his head and stayed calm to become the second successive player from the United Kingdom to win the Hero Indian Open after Matt Wallace of England.
On what is the Mother’s Day back in his native Scotland, it was a father and son show in New Delhi, with 18-year-old son Jack caddying for Gallacher this season.
“It was great to have him on the bag and Mother’s Day as well makes it even more special,” said Gallacher. “I have always loved coming to India. I love my curries and to have my son, Jack, on the bag for the win was special.
“Last year I played in the final group with Matt Wallace and I enjoyed. I finished seventh last year, so it felt great to get this Trophy this time around,” he added.
Gallacher (71), with seven birdies, five of them on the tense back nine, besides two bogeys and a quadruple bogey, totaled nine-under 279.
Japan’s Masahiro Kawamura (73) logged his best-ever result on the European Tour, to finish at eight-under 280 and sole second.
Jorge Campillo (67) was sole third, while Julian Suri (77), who held at least a share of the lead for most of the tournament, kept hanging in for 13 holes before a quadruple bogey on 14th smashed his hopes. Till then he led by three. Suri ended tied fourth with Christiaan Bezuidenhout (68) at six-under.
Even a bogey at the 14th would have given Suri a chance in a play-off, but it was not to be.
“I will take a lot of positive from this week. It was only my second (start) after a long lay-off and I think I am playing well,” said Suri, who earlier said considering Indian ancestry, he would have loved to win in India.
Rashid Khan and S Chikkarangappa finished in a tie for 10th spot and were the best Indians among the eight who made the cut.
Rashid carded two-under 70 and finished at four-under 284, while S Chikkarangappa (74) suffered two doubles but still registered a top 10 finish.
“I managed to keep a top 10 despite those two bad holes on fifth and 10th, but I am happy with the way my game is going and I hope to crack through for my maiden win soon,” said Chikka.
Rashid was pensive as he said, “I have not been able to practice as I should because of various problems, but am grateful that Devang Shah has allowed me free use of Kalhaar Blues course in Ahmedabad and it was nice to get a good European-Asian Tour result this week.”
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 to finish tied 27th.
Gaganjeet Bhullar (71) rose to tied 39th, SSP Chawrasia (75) was tied 45th, Ajeetesh Sandhu (75) was tied 54th, while Rahil Gangjee (80) and Gaurav Pratap Singh (82) were tied 69th.
“That hole (eighth) really had me this week,” said Shubhankar, 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 a turnaround for the good.”