New Delhi: David Gleeson of Australia completed his renaissance by winning the Hero Indian Open with a final round four-under-par 68 on Sunday.
Gleeson, who missed five consecutive cuts earlier this year, showed no signs of losing his overnight lead as he closed with a 20-under-par 268 total at the Delhi Golf Club, the lowest winning score on the Indian Open.
Chiragh Kumar of India enjoyed his best finish on the Asian Tour, finishing second after shooting a 70, three strokes from the champion in the US$1.25 million event.
Scotland’s Ross Bain and Lu Wei-chih of Chinese Taipei, winner of last week’s Yeangder TPC, shot matching 67s to share third place on 272.
Gleeson was four-under after five holes and made 13 consecutive pars which were enough to secure him his third Asian Tour title. The highlight of his day came on the par-four third hole where he chipped in from 140 yards.
“Once I made that eagle I started playing more conservatively. It is unbelievable to win again. My victories have been sporadic and hopefully this win will change that,” said Gleeson who bagged US$198,125 and ended a three-year title drought.
The Australian admitted he struggled with his game earlier in the year but enjoyed a change of fortunes when he traded in his old set of golf clubs for a new set where he was immediately rewarded with a second place finish at the Macau Open last month.
“And after making some changes to my clubs, I finally found what I wanted and it snowballed into some confidence. I’ve been playing well ever since,” said Gleeson.
Kumar, the 2006 Asian Games team silver medallist, was a shot back going into the final round but failed to make a title charge as he putter went cold.
“I’m not disappointed about finishing second. This is a great result for me considering this is my national Open. If someone had told me prior to the event that I would finish second I would’ve taken it,” said the 27-year-old.
“I played well but David just ran away with it. He made an amazing start and kept up the momentum till the end. He did not give me an opportunity to put any kind of pressure on him,” said Kumar.
Lu continued his rich vein of form in a round of six birdies against one bogey to give himself another strong finish after winning his second Asian Tour title on home soil last week.
“I’ve played here many times and missed many cuts because I wasn’t used to the tight fairways and tricky greens. I was more prepared this time around and it showed with my result,” said Lu.
The Dubai based Bain turned in 33 but double bogeyed the 11th hole before recovering with two birdies and one eagle on the 14thhole to enjoy his first top-10 finish since 2009.
“I’ve been playing really good this year and got nothing out of it. It is satisfying to finish in tied third. I’ve worked hard and played pretty good,” said the 35-year-old.
“This is a process for me and I need to get back in contention more often and get my confidence where it should be,” said Bain, who is still searching for a maiden Asian Tour victory.
Leading fourth round scores
268 - David GLEESON (AUS) 68-66-66-68.
271 - Chiragh KUMAR (IND) 64-67-70-70.
272 - Ross BAIN (SCO) 65-72-68-67, LU Wei-chih (TPE) 71-68-66-67.
274 - Chapchai NIRAT (THA) 69-67-71-67.
275 - Boonchu RUANGKIT (THA) 70-73-66-66.
276 - Himmat RAI (IND) 69-70-69-68, S.S.P. CHOWRASIA (IND) 69-70-68-69.
277 - SIDDIKUR (BAN) 70-70-69-68, Daisuke KATAOKA (JPN) 72-66-69-70, Adilson DA SILVA (BRA) 68-71-68-70.
279 - LIN Wen-hong (TPE) 65-77-71-66, Manav JAINI (IND) 71-74-67-67, Marcus BOTH (AUS) 71-73-65-70.
280 - Edoardo MOLINARI (ITA) 71-70-70-69, Anirban LAHIRI (IND) 73-69-69-69, Zaw MOE (MYN) 65-74-70-71.
281 - Rick GIBSON (CAN) 70-70-72-69, Peter KARMIS (RSA) 72-70-69-70, Harendra GUPTA (IND) 72-66-71-72.