44-year-old Stephen Gallacher last won in 2014 at the Dubai Desert Classic, where he was a repeat winner after a triumph in 2013. Gallacher defeated Argentinian Emiliano Grillo by a shot to win that tournament five years back.
Just last year, Gallacher played in the final group of Hero Indian Open along with Matt Wallace, who won it in a playoff against Andrew Johnston. Wallace said that he was kept pushing Wallace to perform and clinch the title on last day while finishing T-7 with Shubhankar Sharma on own.
Julian Suri, who dominated the field on all past three days, looked like an absolute winner and pulled a massive crowd for himself on the final day but crumbled on the par-14th with a quadruple-bogey to finish T-4 on the leaderboard. 24-year-old Japanese Masahiro Kawamura too looked in contention and needed a birdie on the last to force a playoff, which did not happen, and Gallacher took home a winning cheque of $2,61,000 on Mother’s Day with his son on the bag, an emotional outing and finish indeed for the Scottish.
“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.
Gallacher added, “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.”
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.
Rashid Khan and S Chikkarangappa finished in a tie for 10th and were the best Indians among the eight who made the cut. Rashid carded two-under 70 and finished at four-under 284, while S Chikkarangappa (74) suffered two doubles but still registered a Top-10. “I managed to keep a Top-10 despite those two bad holes on fifth and 10th, but I am happy with the way my game is going and I hope to crack through for my maiden win, soon,” said Chikka.
Among other Indians, Shubhankar Sharma’s put two balls into the water on eighth to shoot 75 and ended even par 288 for the week and was Tied-27th. Gaganjeet Bhullar (71) rose to T-39th, SSP Chawrasia (75) was T-45th, Ajeetesh Sandhu (75) was T-54th, while Rahil Gangjee (80) and Gaurav Pratap Singh (82) were T-69th.