Wallace pulls away in play-off; Johnston ends 2nd; Shubhankar 7th at Hero Indian Open 2018


Matt Wallace admitted to having thoughts of winning the Hero Indian Open trophy sometime in the middle of the round on the third day. And to think, he was three-over after first eight holes of the week.


The third day was the day when the DLF Golf and Country Club was at its toughest. He shot a grinding 70 and that took him atop the leaderboard alongside the home boy Shubhankar Sharma.


It had yielded a 65 and 66 to Emiliano Grillo on first two days and it produced a 64 for Shubhankar on second day. But on the third day, when Stephen Gallacher shot the best of 67, Wallace produced a 70.


And on the final day with the conditions once again a little better, Wallace’s 68 and Johnston’s 66 brought them together at the finish and then Wallace pulled away.


While Wallace won, Johnston was second and Shubhankar was Tied-7th, his second successive Top-10 in as many weeks.

Wallace said, “I played great. Ever since being three over through eight at the start of the week, I’ve played some of the best golf of my life and to do it in that style at the end there capped it off.”


On the final day, when the local lad stuttered despite a decent start with two birdies in first four  holes, Wallace stood firm with four birdies on the front nine. A fifth birdie on 10th gave him a handy lead. As Shubhankar fell down with two doubles on front nine and a third on back nine, Wallace was steady.


Only Andrew Johnston was his worry and that stayed right till the end. When Wallace opened the door with a bogey on 16th, Johnston playing a group ahead birdied 17th and the two were locked in a tie at 11-under in regulation.


He went for the green on his second at the par-5 18th and he reached it fine. He birdied, while Johnston, who had layed up each day did the same and managed only a par handing the Trophy to Wallace.


Wallace received the Trophy and his cheque for US $ 291,660 for his second European Tour win from Mr. Pawan Munjal, Chairman, Managing Director and CEO of Hero MotoCorp.


Kshitij Naveed Kaul, 18, was the top amateur, while Shubhankar (4-under 284) won the Indian Golf Union prize for being the top Indian player.