Chowrasia completes an Indian party at Avantha Masters golf

Sunday, February 20, 2011

GURGAON - Indian golfer Shiv Shankar Prasad Chowrasia Sunday won his second title on the European and Asian Tour in a dramatic manner, one-stroke ahead of Englishman Robert Coles at the 1.8 million euros ($2.3 million) Avantha Masters.

The Kolkata boy first set the clubhouse target at 15-under and then waited for an hour to see Coles through with his round, before finally raising his arms in victory at the DLF Golf and Country club.

Chowrasia, who won his first co-sanctioned three years ago at the Indian Masters achieved his second win at the DLF Golf and Country club by one shot over Coles, who more than once missed easy birdie putts and with it the chance to win his maiden European title.

Just when a play-off seemed imminent and Chowrasia started hitting balls at the range to keep himself warm, Coles bogeyed his closing hole, taking four shots from the edge of the green to hole out.

The Indian 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.

Gautam Thapar, Chairman and CEO of Avantha Group, gave away the trophy and the cheque of Euros 300,000 to Chowrasia.

It is a dream come true,” said Chowrasia.

“I knew I was playing well but I did not think about winning, though at the back of my mind I knew I had done it before.

I thought I had thing pretty much under control after the front nine and then at 17-under after 15 it seemed fine. I made the mistake of the tee on 16th and ended with a double. Still when Coles missed the birdie putt on 15th and again 17th, I thought I would go into a play-off. I went to the range and hit a few balls.

“The roar from the 18th green made me realise something had happened and then people ran towards the range to congratulate me.

Frances Gregory Havret was third place on 275. Netherlands Robert-Jan Derksen, who had taken the first round lead, signed off in fourth place on 276 while Indias Sujjan Singh got his rookie year on the Asian Tour off to the best of starts with a tied-fifth place alongside Spains Pablo Larrazabal on 277.

Shiv Kapur, despite a double bogey on 17th finished with nine-under 279. Jeev Milkha Singh (75) was totally off-colour. On the front nine he kept missing the birdies and then dropped a bogey on ninth. On the back ninth, he got his only birdie of the day at tenth, but then dropped shots on 13th, 14th and 17th to end at 75 and at nine-under he was tied 11th.

Shamim Khan (69) with five birdies and two bogeys was also tied 11th. Jyoti Randhawa played his best round of the week with a 67 and finished tied 29th.

Sujjan, who earned his Tour card by finishing in tied-21st at Qualifying School last month, is poised for the big leap. Starting the final round in tied-fifth, the 30-year-old marked his card with three birdies on holes four, six and nine with his only blemish on the front-nine coming at the par-four fifth. He signed off with a 71.

It has been a good week for me. I have been hitting the ball really well and gave myself lots of chances. There was no pressure for me even playing in front of the home fans,” said Sujjan.

I will be concentrating on playing more on the Asian Tour this season and hopefully my performance this week can spur me on to better things, added the Indian.

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