Wallace prevails over Johnston in Indian Open play-off

Shubhankar Sharma is the joint leader after the third round of the Indian Open golf

Shubhankar Sharma is the joint leader after the third round of the Indian Open golf

Matt Wallace believes he played some of the best golf of his life to secure his second European Tour title at the Hero Indian Open.

"If you told me I would be seven-under-par going into the weekend after being five-over-par on my opening nine holes yesterday, I would just have laughed", he said.

Sihwan Kim ended the week three strokes back in third ahead of Pablo Larrazabal and Matthias Schwab, while Gallacher ended the week seven back in tied-seventh alongside home favourite Sharma.

I feel fantastic. It was a hard week and a hard golf course. It was a hard week and I think, I played great. "It's satisfying to master the course". Dave (his caddy) was saying that it was set up sometimes like the U.S. Open. You can hit great shots, but it can run into the rough or slope.

"There are some great champions".

India thus failed to retain the trophy for the first time in four years after SSP Chawrasia won it twice in 2015 and 2016 and Anirban Lahiri bagged it in 2015.

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By sheer coincidence, if it was Phil Mickelson who played in the leaders' group last week with Shubhankar and won the title following a first-hole playoff, it was Wallace on this day! "I hit some really good shots and that play-off - to hit two shots like that is exactly why I play the game".

Gurgaon: He can hit the low numbers nearly at will as he showed in two European Tour wins, but Shubhankar Sharma is equally able to stick it out when the chips are down.

"Today's round will definitely rank up there as one of my most significant achievements, especially when it is played at this course", Sharma added.

Wallace singled out his biggest strong point this week.

On the final day, starting with a share of the lead, he moved in the right direction with two early birdies, but then dropped three double bogeys.

"I was one-under par after nine holes, which was crucial".

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"Stephen Gallacher put his arm around me and said?keep going, kid. Thereafter, it was all about trying to catch up with the lead", Shubhankar said. Like Shubhankar, the Englishman, too, was troubled by the tough course and a hard 17th hole.

On the back nine, he birdied the 15th but bogeys at the 13th, 16th and 17th holes spoilt his card.

Talking about his future tournaments, the Chandigarh golfer said: "I'm looking forward to a good week of rest next week at home in Panchkula".

"The wind was gusting around in different directions but I'm pretty happy with my score", added a relived Wallace.

"I just want to have fun. Hopefully, it can be the start of a few things coming up". This week has taught me a lot.

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