ibusinesslines.com March 24, 2018

Matt Wallace beats Andrew 'Beef' Johnston in Indian Open play-off

11 March 2018, 11:22 | Melissa Porter

Daniel Chopra

Daniel Chopra

Kim Sihwan sealed third position on eight-under after carding an impressive 68 in the final round while Spaniard Pablo Larrazabal and Austrian Matthias Schwab were a shot behind at joint-fourth. The Indian said he was happy with the way things went on Saturday.

As for the runaway leader on the first two days, Emiliano Grillo must have realised how hard it is to keep the lead going.

"I played great", he said.

Beginning the day in a share of the lead, Wallace and Shubhankar Sharma exchanged birdies at the second before the Englishman drained a 25-footer to match his playing partner's gain at the fourth. It was a mixed bag as everything happened. But the youngest player in the top 100 of the Official World Golf Rankings, who has already got an invite to the Masters, is looking forward to his next big challenge. I'm going to draw from my experiences last week.

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

"I was trying to come back but I made another bad swing on the seventh".

"The birdie on 10th was fantastic as the hole was played off the back tees". He also dropped a double bogey at the 15th and a bogey at the 16th before sinking a birdie at the last hole. Victory in the country's premier event, on a tough course, would have added to the lustre he has acquired by clinching two European Tour titles and finishing in the top-10 at a WGC tournament.

"With the people that were coming up behind me, there were some real class players".

Wallace had been sensational with three birdies, an eagle in the front nine, besides a bogey at the third. "It's an open contest going into the last round as there are so many contenders. He has got such a good game and a good head that he will go a long way in golf", Wallace said.

"I think, I played great and didn't miss too many shots. That 17th hole was brutal today", said Wallace. I hit lob wedge in there and couldn't hold the green.so it was tough. Ajeetesh Sandhu, who was the best-placed Indian after the first round, was languishing at 26th after he carded two-over 74 on day three.

It was supposed to be the validation of Shubhankar Sharma as the pre-eminent current Indian golfer. Amateur Kshitij Naveed Kaul (77) was seven-over for three days at Tied 48. In what must rank as a disappointment for home fans, only eight Indians made the cut on the lengthened - and testing - course at their national Open, and of those that survived, seven - including 2015 victor Anirban Lahiri (T32, 75) - went over par as conditions continued to test resolve, ability and skill.

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