Mumbai: Indian golfer SSP Chowrasia won his fourth Asian Tour Title after he triumphed at the second play-off hole which won him USD 1 million Resorts World Manila Masters on Sunday.
Chowrasia’s remarking success at the richest tournament in Philippines was his first win outside and it was truly amazing as he birdied the 18th play-off hole twice to clinch victory over Sam Chien of the United States and Malaysia’s Nicholas Fung.
“I am very happy. This is my first win outside of India. 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 Chowrasia.
Chowrasia finished regulation play with a six-under-par 66 to face off a three way play-off after Fung and Chien had earlier set the clubhouse lead at 19-under-par 269.
When Fung withdrew with a bogey at the first play-off hole, the fight only remained between Chowrasia and amateur Chien for the top honours at the Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club.
Chien hit a tee-shot that went straight into hazard giving Chowrasia an advantageous position as he had hit a solid drive to the middle of the fairway earlier.
In an attempt to comeback, Chien hit his shot into the rough, which effectively led to him losing his claim for Resorts World Manila Masters title.
“Chowrasia played some great golf in the playoff. 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 away with it,” said Chien.
Meanwhile, Chowrasia hit his second shot onto the green, right 20 feet away from the pin. He saw his eagle putt shot closing in, just inches away from the pin where an easy birdie putt was enough to seal the deal.
“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 Chowrasia.
Fung had to wait longer for his breakthrough on the Asian tour but he was proud of he had played especially during regulation time where he closed with five successive birdies starting from the 14th hole.
“I didn’t expect myself to finish the round with five straight birdies in a row. I was only at three-under at the turn. So it was really unbelievable when I start to sink in those birdies from the 14th hole.
“Two of my good friends, Chan Shih-chang and Pavit have already progressed from being ADT winners to winners on the Asian Tour. Their victories have really motivated me and it’ll be my time very soon,” said Fung.
This victory was Chowrasia’s second Asian Tour of the season as he had already won Hero Indian Open in March thus winning five titles overall.
It was a great finish for Indians as Shubhankar Sharma first scorched the Manila Southwoods Country Club with a 10-under 62 that included two eagles in last four holes. He was the clubhouse leader at 18-under before Fung and Chien moved ahead of him.
Also finishing at 18-under were Chiragh Kumar (64) and Jyoti Randhawa (67) and they were all Tied-fourth. S Chikkrangrappa (69) and Gaganjeet Bhullar (70) were Tied-19th at 14-under, while Shiv Kapur (69) was 13-under in Tied-22nd.
Jeev Milkha Singh (68) was Tied-54th at six-under.
Leading scores after round 4 of the Resorts World Manila Masters being played at the par 72, 7317 Yards Manila Southwoods GcC course (am – denotes amateur):
269 – SSP CHAWRASIA (IND) 68-64-71-66, Nicholas FUNG (MAS) 66-69-71-63, Sam CHIEN (USA) 74-65-65-65.
270 – Shubhankar SHARMA (IND) 69-70-69-62, Chiragh KUMAR (IND) 67-70-69-64, Jyoti RANDHAWA (IND) 64-65-74-67.
271 – Michael TRAN (VNM) 67-66-71-67, HUNG Chien-yao (TPE) 65-71-68-67, Sutijet KOORATANAPISAN (THA) 65-66-69-71.
272 – Danthai BOONMA (THA) 64-72-73-63, Jbe KRUGER (RSA) 69-67-67-69, Terry PILKADARIS (AUS) 66-70-67-69.
273 – Prom MEESAWAT (THA) 68-68-75-62, Jay BAYRON (PHI) 71-68-70-64, Shunya TAKEYASU (JPN) 69-70-68-66, Carlos PIGEM (ESP) 69-68-69-67, Miguel TABUENA (PHI) 67-70-69-67, Phachara KHONGWATMAI (THA) 67-66-69-71.
274 – Tom JOHNSON (USA) 71-69-68-66, Chikkarangappa S. (IND) 68-67-70-69, Gaganjeet BHULLAR (IND) 69-66-69-70.