Manila, Philippines: Indian SSP Chawrasia lifted his first Asian Tour title abroad after prevailing at the second play-off hole to win the US$1 million Resorts World Manila Masters.
Victory at the richest golf tournament in the Philippines was the first for the 38-year-old outside India. He birdied the 18th play-off hole twice to clinch victory over Sam Chien of the United States and Malaysian Nicholas Fung.
“This is my first win outside of India and 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.
Chawrasia finished regulation play with a flawless six-under-par 66 to force his way into a three-way play-off after Fung and Chien had earlier set the clubhouse lead at 19-under-par 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 into a 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 relief but hit his shot back into the rough, effectively ruling him out of the equation for the Resorts World Manila Masters 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 get away with it,” said Chien.
Chawarasia, meanwhile, hit his second shot onto the green, where his ball landed 20 feet from the pin. The Indian then saw his eagle putt sail inches wide. An easy birdie putt was enough to seal 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.