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HIO 2017: What the win means and milestones reached by SSP Chawrasia with his title retention

Sameer Bahl
183   //    13 Mar 2017, 11:05 IST
S.S.P Chawrasia of India holds the winners trophy after final round of the Hero Indian Open at Dlf Golf and Country Club on March 12, 2017 in New Delhi, India. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

Champion’s Interview:

An elated Chawrasia had the following to say on his remarkable seven-shot victory:

“I feel great as it’s one of the toughest courses I’m playing and winning by seven shots, I’m really happy. Also repeat the title also. Only hard work. That’s the thing. I gave my 100% and I practiced a lot on everything.”

“I’m not comfortable on the course, I’m nervous on every single shot. When I finished the round, I knew I had a few shots lead into the final round. I didn’t need birdies, just aiming for pars in the final round.”

“Honestly, this is very special to win back to back. I think this is one of the toughest I’ve played in my career. I learned many things this week and hopefully I can play better in Europe. That’s my target next, I have to win in Europe.”

“On 17, I was thinking I’m not hitting it short, I have to hit over the green and maybe hit the stone and come back. Luckily it did. After bogey on 6 and 7, I was on borderly and I had to make some birdies and I got a bit serious and I managed to come back.”

“I just played good this week, obviously some luck too. Jeev was telling me to calm down and play my own game and don’t look at others. I told him I’ll follow his advice and follow the same routine.”

“This is probably my best win of my career as it was a really tough course. This week, I made less mistakes and others made more mistakes.  I’m actually not calmed, I know what’s going on in my body because it’s so tough.”

“After the tee shot on 18, now I feel I’ve won the tournament. I struggled a bit on the greens, but I made some good up and downs and good putts. I hit some wrong lines but maybe next year, it’ll get better. It’s still a tough course.”

“I still don’t understand the golf course. Hopefully I’ll play a few more times on this course then only will I know how to play it better!”

Q. What did you do to conquer this course?

Well, I played two practice rounds. And I decided to play the same as I did at (former host venue) Delhi Golf Club. And I did exactly the same thing. 

Q. It was close coming in to the fourth round but you blew it wide open today. 

I was five shots ahead at the start and then I made a bogey on six and seven. After that I thought, oh my god I have to make some birdies or I’m losing this. So, I made a couple of birdies and came back.

Q. At what point out there did you feel safe today on the golf course? 

After the 18th tee shot (laughs)

Q. Being here in front of the home crowd and your wife watching was it good to have them on your side?

Oh yeah, I was very happy to have everyone supporting me, and having my wife here too to see me winning the Indian Open two times back to back. I’m just very, very happy.

Q. With the back and forth between you and Anirban over the last few years was it good to have him there watching you at the final putt?

Before the putt, Anirban was signaling to me, showing thumbs up and saying great but you won’t win again last year (laughs). It was good fun.

Q. What’s next for you, Morocco?

No my next tournament will probably be in Japan.

Key Milestones:

His fourth European Tour International Schedule victory in his 188th official European Tour event.

Moves to 289,309 points in the Race to Dubai.  

Could move to inside the top 170 of the Official World Golf Ranking, from 258th.

His first European Tour victory since the 2016 Hero Indian Open.

This victory sees him claim titles in consecutive European Tour seasons for the first during his career.

This victory beats his previous best 2017 European Tour performance of tied 35th in the ISPS HANDA World Super 6 Perth.

This victory is his first European Tour top ten finish since he won the 2016 Hero Indian Open in March of last year.

Becomes the first Indian in European Tour history to successfully defend a European Tour title.

Becomes only the second Asian player to successfully defend a European Tour title, following Thongchai Jaidee (2004-05 Carlsberg Malaysian Open).

Becomes the first player to successfully defend a European Tour title since Branden Grace (2015-16 Commercial Bank Qatar Masters).

Becomes the 39th different player in European Tour history to successfully defend a European Tour title.

Makes European Tour history by becoming the first player to win their first four European Tour titles on home soil. The wins are: 2008 EMAAR-MGF Indian Masters, 2011 Avantha Masters, 2016 Hero Indian Open and 2017 Hero Indian Open.

Other Facts

Continues with his incredible record in the Hero Indian Open since the event became part of the European Tour International Schedule in 2015. In 2015 he finished second and first in 2016 and 2017.

Has now won a total of €668,084 in his three appearances in the Hero Indian Open since the event became part of the European Tour International Schedule in 2015.

Becomes only the third player to make a successful defence of the Hero Indian Open since the event began in 1964. The first player to achieve the feat was Kenji Hosoishi (1967-68) and then fellow Indian, Jyoti Randhawa (2006-07).

Joins Jyoti Randhawa (2000, 06-07) and Ali Sher (1991 and 93), as Indian players to win their home Open on two or more occasions.

Continues with his incredible career record in the Hero Indian Open. Has now finished inside the top two six times, with two wins and four runner-up placings.

Joins Jeev Milkha Singh at the top of the list for most Indian victories on the European Tour, with four.

Becomes the third different Asian player to win four or more European Tour titles. They are: Thongchai Jaidee (eight), Jeev Milkha Singh and S. S. P. Chawrasia (four each).

His seven stroke winning margin equals the largest of the 2017 European Tour season, matching the seven of Brandon Stone at the Alfred Dunhill Championship.

His winning total of 278 (-10) is the highest winning total and in relation to par on the 2017 European Tour to date.

Led by two shots going into the final. Remarkably for the third year in a row he has led after 54 holes.

Becomes the eighth winner this year to lead going into the final day.

The second of his four European Tour titles he has won after leading with 18 holes to play. The first was the 2016 Hero Indian Open.

The 13th Indian victory in European Tour history.

The first Indian victory on the European Tour since S.S.P. Chawrasia himself won the 2016 Hero Indian Open.

This victory would extend India’s record of consecutive winning years on the European Tour to three. This is the first time India has won events for three consecutive seasons in European Tour history.

The third consecutive Indian victory in the Hero Indian Open since the event became part of the European Tour International Schedule in 2015, They are: Anirban Lahiri (2015) and S.S.P. Chawrasia (2016-17).

India follows South Africa from seven days ago (2015-17 Tshwane Open) and win the same European Tour event for three consecutive seasons.

Becomes the first Indian to win the same European Tour event twice.

Becomes the second Indian to win European Tour events in consecutive seasons, following Arjun Atwal (2002 Caltex Singapore Masters presented by Carlsberg) and (2003 Carlsberg Malaysian Open).

To underline how well S.S.P. Chawrasia plays in Asia, of his nine top ten career finishes in European Tour events, seven of them have been on Asian soil, with five coming in India. (The other two were in the 2014 Hong Kong Open and 2015 Maybank Malaysian Open).

Gains his 16th win as a professional, with 15 of them coming in India.

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Sameer Bahl
Massive golf aficionado, former British universities golfer at University of the Highlands and Islands, and big equipment buff. Keen follower of all sports and passions include staying fit and running. PGA Of UK Level 1 Golf Coach who can introduce the basics of the game to beginners. Proud to have played some of the top 100 golf courses in Scotland and England. Golf is great!
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