Sunday, September 24, 2023

Stephen Gallacher wins the Hero Indian Open 2019 Title

Stephen Gallacher with son as caddie

Stephen Gallacher, who played in the final group last year, but finished Tied-seventh, went all the way this time to end his five-year winless drought by taking the Hero Indian Open at the Gary Player layout at the DLF Golf and Country Club.

Gallacher, 44, who last won in 2014 in Dubai, shot 71 to finish at nine-under 279 and was one shot clear of Masahiro Kawamura of Japan who carded 73 and totaled eight-under 280.

Gallacher, who shared the first round lead, but started the final day three shots behind the leader Julian Suri, birdied three of his last four holes to produce a stunning comeback and win his first European Tour title in five years.

Dr. Pawan Munjal, Chairman, Hero MotoCorp, gave away the Hero Indian Open Trophy and the cheque worth US$ 291,660. The Asian Tour also presented Mr. Munjal with a salver for his outstanding contribution to Asian golf.

For Gallacher it was a special celebration. “It was great to have my son, Jack, on the bag and this being Mother’s Day as well makes it even more special,” said Gallacher. “I have always loved coming to India, I love my curries and to have my son, Jack, on the bag for the win was special,”

He added, “Last year I played in the final group with Matt Wallace and I enjoyed and I was seventh, so it felt great to get this Trophy this time around.”

The Scot overcame a major setback after a quadruple bogey eight on the seventh hole on Sunday.

The lead kept moving backwards on a windy day at DLF Golf and Country Club but as he stood on the 15th tee, Gallacher still looked an outside bet facing one of the toughest closing stretches on the Race to Dubai.

The 2014 Ryder Cup star knows a thing or two about performing under pressure, however, and he took advantage of the par five before hitting stunning approaches into the 17th and last to claim his first win since the second of back to back Omega Dubai Desert Classic titles in 2014. On Mother’s Day back in his native Scotland, it was a father and son show in New Delhi, with son Jack caddying for Gallacher this season in what is likely to be a permanent move for the duo.

A closing 71 moved Gallacher to nine under and gave him a one shot win over Kawamura, with Spaniard Jorge Campillo (67) a further shot back.

American Julian Suri had led by three after 12 holes but produced a quadruple bogey of his own on the treacherous 14th to slip back, and he finished alongside South African Christiaan Bezuidenhout at six under.

Bezuidenhout made six birdies and two bogeys in a 68 that handed him a third top ten in four events and he finished three shots off the lead, one ahead of fellow South Africans George Coetzee and Erik van Rooyen, Spaniard Nacho Elvira and England’s Callum Shinkwin.

Finn Kalle Samooja made the third hole-in-one of the week with a pitching wedge from 139 yards on the 12th for the eighth ace of the season.

“I was pretty calm after that hole (the seventh), there’s nothing really 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 come 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.” 

– Stephen Gallacher, Champion Hero Indian Open 2019


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