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Wednesday, 07 March 2018
SSP Chawrasia  (Getty Images)
SSP Chawrasia (Getty Images)

SSP Chawrasia used previous disappointments to spur him to victory at the Hero Indian Open and he is now hoping that success can inspire him to even greater things on the European Tour.

The Indian finished second four times in his home event before finally claiming the crown in 2016, successfully defending his title 12 months later to arrive this week at DLF Golf and Country Club as a two-time defending champion.

The 39 year old has the chance to become the first player in history to win this event three consecutive times but, after claiming all four of his European Tour wins in his homeland, he is hoping domestic glory can be a springboard for international success.

"I have played for the last couple of years on the European Tour but I’m not playing consistently," he said. "That’s my next target, I have to play well in Europe.

"I lost four times at the Indian Open, so I think that’s why I went on to win twice. I think that’s why I might win three times. I’ll try my best and we’ll see.

"All the Europeans say ‘Oh, if any event happens in India you will definitely win the tournament. What’s the secret?’ I always say there is no secret, I’m just playing good, that’s it."

One of Chawrasia's second-place finishes at this event came in 2015 when he was defeated by friend and compatriot Anirban Lahiri in a play-off.

The two will play together on Thursday and Friday in New Delhi but with Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex leader Shubhankar Sharma and a host of Indian stars in the field, Lahiri believes the home fans will have plenty to cheer throughout the field.

"The Indian Open is always a very special event, for me personally and the other Indian players here," he said.

"Outside of the prestige of the event, it’s also a good opportunity for the young unheralded Indians to make a splash and secure their cards in Asia.

"For the two of us, we always look forward to it, we’ve done well here.

"I think all eyes are going to be on SSP as well as he’s played the last couple of years.

"I think this is the best Indian field we’ve ever had. Also, the most in-form Indian field that we’ve ever had, with Shubhankar playing the way he is, Khalin (Joshi) recently had a top 10 in Malaysia.

"It is really great to see, so I’m hoping that the Indians have a great week."

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1WALLACE, MattENG18-11
2JOHNSTON, AndrewENG18-11
3KIM, SihwanUSA18-8
T4LARRAZÁBAL, PabloESP18-7
T4SCHWAB, MatthiasAUT18-7
6GRILLO, EmilianoARG18-5

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