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Chawrasia defends Indian Open title

March 12, 2017 20:17 IST

SSP Chawrasia

IMAGE:  S.S.P Chawrasia of India holds the winners trophy with his wife Simantini. Photograph courtesy: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

SSP Chawrasia clinched his fourth European Tour title on Sunday when he won the Indian Open for the second successive year with a seven-shot victory over Malaysia's Gavin Green.

Chawrasia, who became the first Indian to defend a European Tour title, started the day tied in first, but had opened up a two-shot lead by the time he completed his weather-delayed third round on Sunday morning.

He struck his first birdie of the final round on the fourth hole, but bogeyed the sixth and the seventh before recovering with two more birdies before the turn.

A birdie on the 13th was cancelled out by a bogey on the final hole as he finished with a one-under-par 71 and a 10-under total of 278 for the tournament.

"I'm winning back-to-back so I'm really very happy," the 38-year-old, who won the 2008 Indian Masters and the Panasonic Open India on the Asian Tour at the Delhi Golf Club in 2014, told reporters.

"This is a very tough course so I'm just trying to play straight and to the right place. I played very consistently this week."

Chawrasia has an excellent record at the event, which is co-sanctioned with the Asian Tour, finishing second four times before beating compatriot Anirban Lahiri to lift the title for the first time last year.

Delays caused by lightning on the first two days meant Chawrasia had to complete seven holes of his third round on Sunday morning, but he made gains on the 13th, 14th and 15th to start his final round on nine-under, two shots ahead of Spain's Carlos Pigem.

Pigem's hopes faded as he finished with his worst round of the tournament, racking up four bogeys and a double bogey to end on a one-under 287 and a share of fifth place with compatriot Rafa Cabrera Bello and last year's runner up Lahiri.

Green hit five bogeys and two birdies for a round of 75 that put him on three-under for the tournament. That was good enough for second place, while Italy's Matteo Manassero and Scotland's Scott Jamieson were tied in third on two-under.

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