Delhi, India: With his son acting as his caddie, Scotsman Stephen Gallacher staged a remarkable comeback by firing three birdies in his closing four holes to close with a one-under-par 71 and win the Hero Indian Open.
It was Gallacher’s first victory in Asia. His total of nine-under-par 279 gave him a one-shot triumph over Japan’s Masahiro Kawamura at the US$1.75 million event at the DLF Golf and Country Club.
Starting the round with a three-shot deficit, the 44-year-old Gallacher stayed patient during a roller-coaster round where he recovered from a quadruple-bogey on hole seven to take home the winner’s prize purse of US$291,660.
Kawamura had the opportunity to force a play-off with Gallacher at the last but could not take it into extra time as he could only make par. The Japanese settled for second place on his own following a 73.
Gallacher said: “Today the wind was swirling and the course was playing really tough. I was three behind the lead at the start of the day and got off to quite a solid start and then I hit a quadruple-bogey on hole seven. I was pretty calm at that point of time. I stood on the eighth tee and saw I was only five shots behind. I told myself to stick to the game and you never know what can happen. Especially with how hard it was playing and I came back three-under in the last four holes.
“I am 45 this year so I am really proud of what I did here today. It changes my schedule and I can play a bit less and it was great to win with my son on the bag. He has caddied for me in 20 events already, and to win with him there and on Mother’s Day as well makes it even more special. It has been a great day.”
Local prospects Rashid Khan (70) and S. Chikkarangappa (74) finished as the highest-placed Indians in tied-10th position at the event which was celebrating its 55th edition this week.
Finland’s Kalle Samooja aced the 12th hole from 127 metres with his pitching wedge, marking the first time in the history of the Indian Open that three hole-in-ones were made in the same year.