Singapore: SSP Chowrasia carded a disappointing one-under 70 in the final round but was the best-placed Indian at tied 17th in the Barclays Singapore Open golf tournament here on Sunday. Chowrasia (70-69-71-70), playing his final two rounds alongside Louis Oosthuizen, was the only Indian to improve his position in the final round.
He finished at three-under 281 and it was his third top-20 finish on the European Tour this season.
"I was a bit unlucky on that triple bogey on the par-5 seventh hole in the third round. I had to go back to take my tee shot as no one seemed to have seen it fly over the fairway into the water," said Chowrasia. But I am happy that I was able to fight my way back despite that."
Gaganjeet Bhullar admitted to fatigue of playing 11 weeks and the long Sunday shot a 72 in the final round after a 69 in third.
"It was good to finish birdie-birdie but the positive that I will take away from this week is my putting. Even (Miguel) Jimenez was very encouraging and appreciated it," said Bhullar, who ended 22nd after being tied 13th after 54 holes.
Shiv Kapur (72) also dropped from tied 13th to tied 22nd at three-under 281 but Anirban Lahiri (78) who had one triple, one double and four other bogeys and only two birdies, suffered a dramatic drop from tied fifth to tied 37th at one-over 285. Jyoti Randhawa collapsed with a 81 and dropped even more from tied 26th to 63rd at eight-over 292.
In the third round which was completed in the morning, Lahiri made the best move among the Indians. Lahiri carded a three-under 68 to go to six-under and tied fifth place. Kapur played his 14 third round holes this morning in even par and stayed at four-under for three rounds. Chowrasia courted disaster on the par-5 seventh with a triple bogey, but recovered very well with birdies on eighth, 10th and 15th.
However, he was pushed one back by a bogey on 16th to return a card of even par 71 and a total of three-under for 54 holes. Italian teenager Matteo Manassero and 2010 Open winner Oosthuizen delivered a dramatic finale amid a setting sun on a dry but humid Sunday.
Manassero won his third European Tour title beating the more experienced 30-year-old South African on the third play-off hole and he will now possibly defend the title under a new sponsorship next year. Manassero, the European Tour's youngest winner he won at 17 years in 2010 and Oosthuizen first played 33 and 31 holes respectively, to arrive at the same result of 13-under for 72 holes. They then played out another three holes.
Even as the two players with long tongue-twisters for names, produced a theatrical finish, the Indians, who finished the third round in the most promising manner indicating possible top-10 finishes, wilted on the marathon Sunday. Adding further excitement to the final day was Rory McIlroy's stunning eagle on the 18th for a grandstand finish and a flawless card of 65 which not got him sole third at 10-under but also ensured he would top the 'Race to Dubai' the European Order of Merit to complete a double after having topped the PGA Money List earlier on.
To top it all the weekend stayed dry ensuring a timely finish which at one time looked impossible with rain interruptions on the first two days.