Manila: India’s golfer SSP Chawrasia clinched his first title on the Asian Tour on foreign soil after prevailing at the second play-off hole to win the $1 million Resorts World Manila Masters on Sunday.
Victory at the richest golf tournament in the Philippines was the first for the 38-year-old outside India and it was one to remember after he birdied the 18th play-off hole twice to clinch victory over Sam Chien of the US and Malaysia’s Nicholas Fung.
“I am very happy. This is my first win outside of India. I am very excited. Everyone has been telling me I have won a lot of times in India and it’s about time to win outside of India. I am glad I did it this week,” said Chawrasia, who bagged $180,000 as prize money.
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Chawrasia finished regulation play with a flawless six-under 66 to force his way into a three-way play-off after Fung and Chien had earlier set the clubhouse lead at 19-under 269.
When Fung bowed out with a bogey at the first play-off hole, it was down to Chawrasia and rookie Chien to battle for top honours at the Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club.
Chien hit a wayward tee shot that went straight into the hazard, leaving Chawrasia in an advantageous position after he had hit a solid drive into the middle of the fairway earlier.
The American then took a relief but hit his shot back into the rough, effectively ruling him out of the equation for the title.
“Chawrasia played some great golf in the play-off. I was just trying to be aggressive but maybe I was a little bit too aggressive. I played well on the first extra hole but the second time I just did not away with it,” said Chien.
Chawarasia, meanwhile, continued his brilliance by hitting his second shot onto the green, where the ball landed just 20 feet away from the pin.
The Indian then saw his eagle putt sailed just within inches away from the pin but an easy birdie putt was enough to seal his victory.
“I know every shot is crucial when you are in a play-off. So I just tried to calm myself down out there and I’m just glad I hit two brilliant second shots that got me the title,” said Chawrasia.
Apart from Chawrasia, other Indians also enjoyed a successful weekend. Shubhankar Sharma (62), Chiragh Kumar (64) and Jyoti Randhawa (67) shared the fourth spot on 270 total.
Gaganjeet Bhullar scored 70 to finish with a 274 total that gave him a share of the 19th spot, along with compatriot S Chikka (69).
Shiv Kapur finished tied 22nd on 13-under 275 following a 69 in the fourth round, while Jeev Milkha Singh scored a 68 to finish on 282 total that gave him a share of the 54th position.