| Sergio Garcia of Spain with the winner’s trophy in Johor Bahru, on Sunday. (AFP) |
Nusajaya (Malaysia): Indian golfers SSP Chowrasia and Shiv Kapur carded 10-under 206 to finish tied 10th in the rain-shortened $2 million Iskandar Johor Open which was won by Spain’s Sergio Garcia here Sunday.
Both Chowrasia (70) and Kapur (69) had an excellent run over the first 10 holes before the heavens opened up. After a three-and-a-half-hour stoppage, there were no more birdies for the two.
While Kapur parred the last eight, Chowrasia bogeyed the 17th after struggling to hit ball from a waterlogged area on the fairway.
Himmat Rai completed a fine comeback from the first day 76 as he added a final round 68 to his second round 66 and finished at six-under 210 and in tied 21st, alongside Anirban Lahiri (71) and Gaganjeet Bhullar (69).
Bhullar played with four-time Major winner, Ernie Els (72), who ended in a tie for 48th at three-under 213.
Jyoti Randhawa (69) finished at five-under 211 at tied 32nd place, while his brother-in-law Digvijay Singh (71), playing alongside him ended the week at tied 48th at three-under 213.
“I am happy that the tournament ended on Sunday though one round less. But the way the weather was, it could have stretched to Monday. After a long season, that’s the last thing you want,” said Chowrasia.
Kapur almost echoed his words, saying, “Thank God it’s done with. It was tough but there was little we could do.”
Meanwhile, a flawless card of 61 each from the eventual top-two Sergio and American Jonathan Moore pushed even the rain, lightning and the three-and-a-half-hour stoppage into the background at the truncated Johor Open.
Garcia won by a comfortable three-shot margin after totalling 198 for three rounds while Moore aggregated 201.
Playing alongside the marauding Spaniard, Thai Typhoon Thongchai Jaidee responded to Garcia’s great play shot seven-under 65 and ended third at 14-under 202.
Overnight leader Daniel Chopra (69), despite a superb front nine of 32, slipped to fourth at 13-under 203 to follow up on his top-10 finish in Thailand last week.
Moore, starting an hour before Garcia, finished before the stoppage and set the clubhouse lead at 15-under. Garcia went past it to 16-under just before play was suspended but he had four more holes to go.
When play resumed, he added two more birdies and cantered home a deserving winner.
Lying tied seventh overnight, Sergio’s surge began from the first hole. Three shots behind the leader Chopra, he was on fire from the start. He went through an electric streak with seven birdies in first eight holes, before taking a four-hole break, as it were, with pars.
Two birdies on 13th and 14th followed before rain and lightning stepped in. But, by then, he was in lead despite another stunning 61 from American Jonathan Moore who is in only in his second year on the Tour.
Former Walker Cup player Moore, who had 69-71 in first two rounds, began tearing up the Horizon Hills course more than 70 minutes before the Spaniard had even begun. Moore, with wife Claire, on the bag was having the time of his life with five birdies and an eagle on the front nine. He added four more birdies on the back stretch and closed with a career-best 61.
Chopra with three birdies in a row from second to fourth seemed set to make a bid for the title, which he missed narrowly last year and at a venue where he won his first professional title in 1993.
He added a fourth birdie on eighth and turned in four-under to get to 14-under, which was just one behind clubhouse leader Moore.
Chopra bogeyed the 11th and then came the stoppage. The momentum was gone and the fairways were waterlogged. Somehow the organisers started the play and players went along to complete the tournament.