Chowrasia Claims Maiden Title at the Emaar-Mgf Indian Masters

Sun 10 Feb 2008

Chowrasia Claims Maiden Title at the Emaar-Mgf Indian Masters

New Delhi, February 10: India?s rising star S.S.P Chowrasia enjoyed a sensational home triumph at the Delhi Golf Club when he lifted the EMAAR-MGF Indian Masters title on Sunday.
Chowrasia, the son of a greenkeeper in Calcutta, enjoyed his maiden breakthrough on one of his favourite golf courses in India after a solid five-under-par 67 for a winning total of nine-under-par 279.

The 29-year-old champion walked away with the top prize of US$416,660 and currently leads the Asian Tour?s Order of Merit ranking.

?Right now my mind is totally blocked because I'm not able to think about anything. I?m just really happy to win,? said Chowrasia.

Ireland?s Damien McGrane finished in second position two strokes behind the champion after a round of 70 while Spain?s Jose Manuel Lara was outright third when he was even-par for the day for a 283 total.

But all eyes were on local hero Chowrasia who had started the day two strokes back. He was four-under in his opening nine holes today and remained steady on the way home firing a birdie on the 11th hole to triumph by a two stroke margin in the Asian Tour and European Tour event.

?I wasn't thinking too much about the win and all of the scoring out on the front nine because there was still half a round left. In the second half, all I wanted to do was to score pars and to keep it going, and I did it,? said the champion, who had dominated the local scene with nine wins.

Chowrasia earned his full playing rights on the Asian Tour in 2006 and almost enjoyed a maiden win that year when he lost in a play-off at the Hero Honda Indian Open on the same venue prior to his success today.

?Normally I don't shoot too well in the final round, but whenever I've won a tournament I've always shot a brilliant last round, usually a five under or six under, and I think I played very good golf so I'm very, very happy.

?I was quite tense when I came to the 18th, but more than coming on to the green. I was more tense at the tee because there were a few people walking across. And I took my time on the tee shot, and after the tee shot I was relieved and I was much more relaxed.

?I hope more and more caddies will now take up the game and they will also feel that they can also do well if they start playing and working at it,? added Chowrasia.

Overnight leader Raphael Jacquelin endured a slow finish after a 74 as he claimed fourth spot together with Asian Tour?s Digvijay Singh who ended with a 70. India?s Gaurav Ghei shot a 71 to finish in joint sixth place alongside South African star Ernie Els who carded a similar score.

?Chowrasia is a great player and has shown great determination. He has finally broken through and I?m sure this will be an inspiration to all other Indian golfers out there,? said Ghei.

Leading final round scores

279 - S.S.P Chowrasia (IND) 70-71-71-67

281 - Damien Mcgrane (IRL) 67-69-75-70
283 - Jose Manuel Lara (ESP) 68-72-71-72

284 - Raphael Jacquelin (FRA) 69-69-72-74, Digvijay Singh (IND) 70-70-74-70

285 - Maarten Lafeber (NED) 69-71-73-72, Ross Mcgowan (ENG) 72-71-70-72, Thomas Bjorn (DEN) 68-72-74-71, Gaurav Ghei (IND) 75-69-70-71, Ernie Els (RSA) 75-70-69-71

286 - Soren Kjeldsen (DEN) 74-71-75-66

287 - Graeme Mcdowell (NIR) 69-69-73-76, Hendrik Buhrmann (RSA) 69-69-75-74

Brendan Jones (AUS) 74-68-76-69

288 - Arjun Atwal (IND) 70-70-72-76, Benn Barham (ENG) 69-71-74-74, Henrik Nystrom (SWE) 70-71-74-73, Jean-Baptiste Gonnet (FRA) 71-73-75-69


290 - Jyoti Randhawa (IND) 65-77-75-73

294 ? Shiv Kapur (IND) 68-78-76-72

About the Asian Tour

As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia.  This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include Sofitel (Official Hotel), Srixon (Official Ball), Pin High (Official Apparel Partner) and ESPN Star Sports (Official Regional TV Broadcaster). Sentosa, Singapore?s premier island resort getaway, is the Home of the Asian Tour.