#HeroIndian Open Rd 4 What They Said

Sun 20 Mar 2016

#HeroIndian Open Rd 4 What They Said

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S.S.P. Chawrasia (Ind) – Final Round 71 (-1), Total 273 (-15)
I had finished runners-up four times in the past. So, somewhere at the back of my mind the thought of winning the Hero Indian Open was very strong. The first priority was to get into the some sort of a contention. From the third round, I started leading the tournament. Today, my game got a bit slow in the middle, but towards the end, I again picked up the pace.
Last year Anirban (Lahiri) won, so it was at the back on my mind right from the start that he might win it this time also. So, the most important thing for me was to hold my nerves. We were almost neck-to-neck throughout the final round.  On the 18th hole, there was a lot of pressure on me because I was just one shot ahead of Anirban. He hit his tee shot with three wood that gave him the option of going two-on.  My second shot was pretty bad, I thought that the ball had a bad lie, but recovered with my third shot. After the third shot, I felt that I could make a birdie and win the tournament since I was a shot ahead. That gave me some amount of confidence. Finally, on the final round I made a birdie that sealed the win for me.
"Hero Indian Open - Day Four"Actually, I had lost this tournament four times in the past. So yesterday, after finishing my round I was pretty tense. So, I called Jeev (Milkha Singh), because he has won so much, I wanted some advice from him about how to go about the final round.  And what he told me, I just followed that. For example, when Anirban started with three birdies in a row, I just kept my game together, just like Jeev advised me. He told me not to get tensed and get over aggressive even if someone hits four or five birdies. He also told me to play just like I had played over the past three days and I would win the tournament.  For the entire day, I kept exactly that in my mind. I felt that he had given me the key to win the tournament. So, a big thanks to Jeev sir.
Today, my target was to play straight and keep the ball on the fairway, which would open up chances of birdies. The way Anirban charged through at the start of the round meant that I had to match him in my shots without getting too aggressive. So the first target was to keep it straight and find the greens and create more chances for birdies. But there were some holes which I attacked such as the first, fourth and 14th. Whenever, I was using smaller clubs, I was attacking the holes.
It’s almost 17-years since I finished second in a tournament at the RCGC.  After that tournament, I started thinking that I could play at the international level.  From then I set a goal to play at the international level. And whenever I lost in a tournament, I always took the positives with me because thinking about the negatives was of no use. My hunger to win kept increasing after every loss. That’s what kept me going whenever I went through a low phase. Looking back, I feel that missing the cuts in the last three weeks made me hungrier for the Hero Indian Open.
"Hero Indian Open - Day One"After this tournament, hopefully my Olympic quota is confirmed. I am very excited about it. Obviously, this was there at the back of my mind somewhere. I was also following my ranking. But when I was on the course today, I wasn’t thinking about it. The thought of playing in the Olympics is very exciting indeed. Other Indian sportspersons have been to the Olympics. When I used to see them there, I always got a great amount of joy because I used to think that since I play golf I would never get the chance to go the Olympics. But finally, it seems that my Olympics might just come true. And, now that I have got a full European Tour card, I’ll play more in Europe.
Anirban Lahiri (Ind) – Final Round 69 (-3), Total 275 (-13)
Sum up the day?
“It was pretty intense. I got off to a great start but lost a bit of momentum after that. I gave myself a lot of chances but missed quite few from 15-20 feet but at the end of day, SSP hung tough and played very well. I made that put on the third and thought that was a great time to hole a long putt because I hadn’t made many this week. I just lost a bit of ground around the turn on eight and nine and then the back nine is so tight. But I enjoyed it nonetheless.”
Easy to take because you have won it?
“It’s not quite as painful, put it that way. But there is nothing sweeter than being the Indian Open champion. It was a disappointing finish after a promising start for me. But I am so happy for SSP. This win is huge for him. We were tied for second three years ago, he was second last year and has been second four time at this tournament so it’s great for him to win and lock down the Olympics and everything else that comes with it. I am really pleased for him.”
Back to America with confidence?
“I was really looking forward to this week because it always puts me in a good frame of mind. I could have been a lot better in some areas this week but I will go back to America with a lot more confidence and some good vibes from being in the mix on a Sunday afternoon.”
Jeunghun Wang (Kor) – Final Round 68 (-4), Total 275 (-13)
Angelo Que of the Phillipines Angelo Que of the Phillipines
I gave my best out there. I’m very proud with how I played. I had a chance to win but it is okay because Chawrasia played very well. I’m happy with my performance and I hope to continue to do well. One day, my win will come.
Angelo Que (Phi) – Final Round 65 (-7), Total 276 (-12)
When you shoot bogey free and a 65 on this course, well that’s something. I didn’t have any trouble today. I hit it really well. My irons were spot on and my putting helped. I’m very happy because I came in on the Thursday morning.
I had something to do back home. I had to go home in a hurry last week and I came here on Thursday morning. I did it before and I almost won the event. I think that’s a good strategy for me. I might keep doing that now and hopefully it keeps working.
We’ve been playing here for years. It is a course where you need to know what to do. I hit it better than before so that’s why I played well.
I wanted to birdie the last to have a really good chance to get into a play-off. I’ve been in this situation before. I had a two-shot lead in the clubhouse but I ended up losing in a play-off.
My main goal is to get into the Olympics. With me playing well this week, it will move me up on the world rankings which is nice.