SSP Chawrasia produced a gutsy, closing one under par 71 to hold off the challenge of Anirban Lahiri and Jeunghun Wang and win the Hero Indian Open.
The home favourite had finished second in this event four times, including last year when Lahiri defeated him in a play-off, but this time he held his nerve down the stretch to claim a third European Tour title by two shots.
Lahiri had held a tie for the lead on the front nine as he signed for a 69, while Wang recorded a closing 68 but could never rein in a man who is an expert at Delhi Golf Club.
In 16 previous appearances, Chawrasia had ten top tens on the New Delhi layout with two wins, and he showed all his skill around the narrow, tree-lined course to claim a long-awaited national open title.
The win sees the 37 year old reclaim his European Tour playing privileges which he narrowly lost last season after finishing 113th on The Race to Dubai.
"This is very important for me because I get a full card and most probably I'm playing the Olympics and the World Cup also so it's very, very important for me," he said.
I was a four-time runner-up in this event and I was thinking for a long time, 'I have to win this tournament'. That's my dream and I got it - SSP Chawrasia
“I think every Indian player looks at this tournament as the biggest. It is our national championship and a huge honour for me.
"There was a lot of pressure on me on the last hole but I had to say thank God when Anirban missed his birdie putt! I played a great chip there and then when he missed I knew I would win the tournament.”
Lahiri birdied his first three holes and when Chawrasia saw a run of 15 pars broken as he failed to get up and down on the sixth, his mind may have drifted back to last season when his countryman overturned a seven-shot deficit.
South Korean Wang, meanwhile, made birdies on the third, fourth and eighth to turn in 33 and sit just a single shot off the lead.
Chawrasia then took advantage of the par five eighth for the fourth time this week, while Lahiri found the trees and had to settle for a par to hand the solo lead back to his compatriot.
The lead was up to two when Lahiri failed to get up and down from a bunker and bogeyed the ninth but it was soon back to one when Chawrasia dropped a stroke on the tenth.
A nerveless 15-foot putt on the 13th extended the lead back to two shots but Wang and Lahiri both birdied the next, the latter after getting up and down from a bunker, to set up a tense finish.
And Chawrasia was crowned champion thanks to a brilliant approach to the 18th from the rough which produced a birdie, and applause from Lahiri, and got him to 15 under.
Filipino Angelo Que finished on 12 under after a brilliant, flawless 65, alongside Brazil's Adilson da Silva who closed with a 69.
Frenchman Grégory Havret, American Daniel Im, Indian Rashid Khan and Sri Lankan N Thangaraja all finished the week five shots behind the leader.
|T4||DA SILVA, Adilson||BRA||18||-12|