Chowrasia gifted Avantha title
New Delhi - India's SSP Chowrasia took his second Asian Tour title in dramatic fashion on home soil after Robert Coles bogeyed his closing hole to hand him victory at the Avantha Masters on Sunday.
The tournament, worth 1.8 million euros ($2.4 million), appeared destined for a play-off between Coles and Chowrasia before the Englishman fluffed his lines on the 18th and gave the 32-year-old Indian his first win since 2008.
Chowrasia closed with a five-under-par 67 for a winning total of 15-under-par 273 while Coles took second place after rounds of 70, 67, 67 and 70 at the DLF Golf and Country Club.
France's Gregory Havret took a third placed 13-under 275, with the Netherlands' Robert-Jan Derksen in fourth and Indian Asian Tour rookie Sujjan Singh tied fifth alongside Spain's Pablo Larrazabal on 277.
Chowrasia's last victory came at the Indian Masters in 2008 and he appeared determined to end his three-year title drought at the Avantha Masters, which is tri-sanctioned by the Asian Tour, European Tour and the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI).
He looked to be cruising with a flurry of birdies on holes four, seven, eight, 10, 11 and 14, but a double-bogey at the 16th opened the door to Coles, who failed to take his opportunity.
"After making those four birdies on the front nine, I felt like I was on a roll. I thought that I could win the title already," said Chowrasia.
"It was a tight lie on the 16th with one of my chips, I duffed it and ran my second shot by. I made a weak putt and I paid the price for it."
He could only par his closing two holes and had to endure an agonising hour-long wait before being declared the champion as Coles still had four holes to play.
The Englishman was left to rue his missed chance at the last and could only reflect on what could have been his maiden win.
"I think the main lesson to take from this is that you have to adapt to those situations under that kind of pressure with the adrenaline flowing," he said.
Meanwhile Sujjan Singh, who earned his Asian Tour card by finishing through the Qualifying School last month, demonstrated his readiness for the step up with a hard fought tied fifth.
The 30-year-old marked his card with three birdies and signed off in 71.
"It has been a good week for me. I've been hitting the ball really well and gave myself lots of chances," he said.
"There was no pressure for me even playing in front of the home fans. I just stayed focused and played my game."
273 - SSP Chowrasia (IND) 70-69-67-67
274 - Robert Coles (ENG) 70-67-67-70
275 - Gregory Havret (FRA) 72-67-68-68
276 - Robert-Jan Derksen (NED) 66-73-68-69
277 - Pablo Larrazabal (ESP) 69-70-66-72, Sujjan Singh (IND) 69-69-68-71
278 - Mark F Haastrup (DEN) 71-66-68-73, Chinnarat Phadunsil (THA) 70-68-71-69
279 - Shiv Kapur (IND) 72-65-72-70, Angelo Que (PHI) 71-68-68-72
280 - Shamim Khan (IND) 74-67-70-69, Prayad Marksaeng (THA) 72-69-67-72, Chapchai Nirat (THA) 68-71-68-73, Jeev Milkha Singh (IND) 68-67-70-75, Thaworn Wirachant (THA) 70-68-70-72
281 - Darren Beck (AUS) 67-72-73-69, Rafael Cabrera-Bello (ESP) 67-69-71-74, Mark Foster (ENG) 67-77-67-70, Jbe Kruger (RSA) 70-66-73-72, Joost Luiten (NED) 68-71-71-71, Fabrizio Zanotti (PAR) 68-74-69-70
282 - Kiradech Aphibarnrat (THA) 70-67-71-74, Carlos del Moral (ESP) 71-69-74-68, Rafa Echenique (ARG) 69-70-67-76, Thongchai Jaidee (THA) 69-67-75-71, Anthony Kang (USA) 73-71-69-69, Gareth Maybin (NIR) 70-71-71-70, Brett Rumford (AUS) 75-69-68-70
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