Stephen Gallacher claims Indian Open with son as caddy

Stephen Gallacher’s one-under 71 gave him a winning aggregate of nine-under 279 while Julian Suri’s final-round 77 could give him only a share the fourth spot at 282

Stephen Gallacher

Scot Stephen Gallacher with the Indian Open trophy.   -  K. Jairaj

After collecting a rare quadruple-bogey on the seventh hole in the afternoon, Stephen Gallacher could not have expected to lay his hands on the winner’s trophy of the $1.75 million India Open on Sunday evening.

Notwithstanding the 44-year-old Scot’s strong finish by finding three birdies on the last four holes, he also owed much of the top-prize of $291,660 to the quadruple bogey that hit long-time leader Julian Suri on the 14th hole, when leading by three shots at 10-under.

As it turned out, Gallacher’s one-under 71 gave him a winning aggregate of nine-under 279 while Suri’s final-round 77 could give him only a share the fourth spot at 282, worth $80,846!

On a day when the DLF Golf and Country Club almost had its revenge on the front-runners, Japan’s Masahiro Kawamura finished runner-up, a stroke ahead of Spain’s Jorge Campillo, who sparkled with a 67.

The Indian challenge faded after S. Chikkarangappa’s early double-bogey. Rashid Khan did well to catch up with Chikkarangappa at 284 in the joint 10th spot.

The story of the final day was the fortuitous run of Gallacher, joint leader on the opening day.

The seasoned campaigner, who won back-to-back Dubai Desert Classic titles in 2014 and was part of the Ryder Cup that year, produced two superb approach shots on the 17th and 18th to stake his claims for the title by staying out of Kawamura’s reach.

“When you’re 44 you’re in the sort of twilight so it’s a big win for me. It was good to finish it out the way I did, three-under for the last four is a great way to finish,” said the champion and continued, "It was great to have Jack (my son) on the bag and Mother's Day (back home in Scotland) as well makes it even more special.”

Talking about the horrendous quadruple bogey, he said, “I was pretty calm after that hole (the seventh), there's nothing much you can do. To see that I was only five back gave me a wee bit of encouragement.

“I thought, ‘just hang in there’. When I birdied 15, I saw that Julian Suri had dropped back and then when I got to the 16th green I was tied for the lead. I just tried to finish as strong as I could and I did that. Thankfully it was enough.”

The scores
 

279 - Stephen Gallacher (Sco) (67, 74, 67, 71); 280 - Masahiro Kawamura (Jpn) (69, 70, 68, 73); 281- Jorge Campillo (Esp) (70, 73, 71, 67); 282 - Christian Bezuidenhout (RSA) (68, 76, 70, 68) and Julian Suri (USA) (67, 67, 71, 77)

Indians: 284 - Rashid Khan (72, 70, 72, 70), S. Chikkarangappa (74, 70, 66, 74); 288 - Shubhankar Sharma (69, 73, 71, 75); 291 - Gaganjeet Bhullar (72, 74, 74, 71); 292 - S. S. P. Chawrasia (74, 72, 71, 75); 293 - Ajeetesh Sandhu (74, 71, 73, 75); 301 - Rahil Gangjee (70, 74, 77, 80) and Gaurav Pratap Singh (73, 73, 73, 82)