| Stephen Gallacher in Dubai, on Sunday |
Dubai: Jeev Milkha Singh slipped on the final day as he frittered away a good start to manage only an even par 72 that saw him finish tied 10th after being in a position to challenge for the Dubai Desert Classic here on Sunday.
Stephen Gallacher ended his nine-year wait for a second European Tour title in stunning fashion with a three-shot victory. The Scotsman holed his approach to the par four 16th for his fifth eagle of the week to finally shake off the challenge of Richard Sterne.
SSP Chowrasia carded a fine bogey-free 68 on final day to finish tied 45th at seven-under 281 to round off a successful Middle East swing where he made each of the three cuts.
Jeev was going great guns with birdies on second and third but a double bogey on par-4 fifth spoilt the day. Another bogey on ninth virtually wiped out his chances and he managed only a birdie after that on 13th to end with a 72.
Chowrasia had birdies on first, 10th, 14th and 18th for a bogey-free 68.
At the top, a one under par 71 gave Gallacher a 22 under par winning total and three shot victory margin, but that barely told the story of a remarkable final round.
Three clear overnight, Sterne wiped out the former European amateur champion's advantage within two holes, before the pair leapfrogged each other repeatedly until Gallacher holed a 110-yard wedge to the 16th.
“I’m obviously delighted,” said the 38-year old Gallacher, whose only previous European Tour title in 404 starts came in 2004 at St Andrews.
“It’s taken a long time but it’s sweeter now. I’ve holed four shots this week, but you’ve got to do that these days to win — you need that little bit of magic.”
Gallacher now looks set to climb into the top 60 of the official world golf ranking in time for the WGC-Accenture Match Play, and has a great chance to move into the top 50 in time for a Masters Tournament debut at Augusta National.
Chile's Felipe Aguilar and Dane Thorbjorn Olesen tied for third and England's Lee Westwood joint fourth after hitting his second shot into the water on par five last.