Kuala Lumpur - Indian Anirban Lahiri has secured his breakthrough European Tour
title by overhauling Austrian Bernd Wiesberger in a dramatic final round
of the Malaysian Open on Sunday.
Just three months after coming
through qualifying school, Lahiri made up five shots on overnight leader
Wiesberger before holding his nerve over the last few holes to emerge a
winner by a single stroke after carding a four-under-par 68.
"I don't think it's sunk in just yet," said the 27-year-old after finishing 16-under for the tournament.
"But I'm pretty sure when it hits home it's going to be a really happy moment for me.
think I've got a bad habit of making it hard for myself, but I'm happy I
got over the line, as ugly as it was towards the end."
who soared into contention with a third round 62 on Saturday, got off to
a blistering start at the Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club by
birdying four of his first five holes.
Wiesberger also picked up
shots at his first two holes and it was only when the Austrian double
bogeyed the par-five seventh that the duel was on.
Lahiri sank a
40-foot putt at the 17th to grab the outright lead for the first time
but Wiesberger birdied the 16th to tie the contest up again.
It lasted only one hole before Wiesberger made a mess of his approach shot at the 17th to hand the advantage back to Lahiri.
said Saturday's round had been crucial to his becoming only the fourth
Indian to win a European Tour title and was already calculating his
chances of a U.S. Masters debut next year.
"In hindsight that was
one of the most crucial rounds of my career and it's fantastic when you
play well at the right times," he added.
"The Masters is
definitely one of my targets. I don't know how far I'll move up (in
rankings), but I'm pretty confident now with this win I should have a
pretty good chance."
Wiesberger's fourth successive top-10 finish
put him in the top five on The Race to Dubai, but the 29-year old was
left to ruing his closing 74.
"It hasn't quite finished the way I intended to," said Wiesberger.
the hiccup on five, I didn't hit it anywhere near as good as the last
15 rounds. It's tough to say, but it is what it is and unfortunately I
beat myself out of it today."
Englishman Paul Waring (73) and
Spaniard Alejandro Canizares (74) finished tied for third on 13 under,
while defending champion Lee Westwood returned 75 for a share of fifth.
Leading final-round scores on Sunday in the $3 million Malaysian Open at Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club (par 72):
272 - Anirban Lahiri (IND) 70-72-62-68
273 - Bernd Wiesberger (AUT) 70-66-63-74
275 - Paul Waring (ENG) 69-68-65-73, Alejandro Canizares (ESP) 68-65-68-74
277 - Gregory Bourdy (FRA) 70-70-68-69, Richard T. Lee (CAN) 69-69-68-71, Paul Peterson (USA) 72-69-64-72, Lee Westwood (ENG) 66-67-69-75
278 - Marc Warren (SCO) 70-71-69-68
279 - S.S.P Chowrasia (IND) 76-67-68-68
280 - Wade Ormsby (AUS) 73-69-71-67, Nathan Holman (AUS) 72-71-71-66, Richard Bland (ENG) 68-70-73-69
281 - Scott Hend (AUS) 73-72-66-70, Wang Jeung-hun (KOR) 77-66-67-71
282 - Robert Rock (ENG) 70-70-74-68, Peter Lawrie (IRL) 71-66-75-70, Thomas Pieters (BEL) 73-73-70-66, Peter Uihlein (USA) 72-72-65-73