When SSP Chawarasia’s smooth-running engine suddenly sputtered and died at the Hero Indian Open Sunday, Anirban Lahiri raced by him in the fast lane to take a stunning playoff victory, his second European Tour title in three weeks.
Sitting at 12-under through 54 holes, Chawrasia bumbled his way to a closing-round 76. He had one bogey in his first 54 holes, then added five more and a double on the tournament’s closing day.
His fade allowed Lahiri to shoot up the leaderboard five spots thanks to a closing 69 that culminated in a 10-foot birdie putt to beat Chawrasia on the first hole of a sudden death playoff.
Lahiri was seven strokes back to start the day, but shaved that gap down to just one after the first six holes as he fired three birdies and Chawrasia recorded a bogey on 3 and a double on 4.
The lead was still one stroke after both men bogeyed 14, and grew back to two with Chawrasia’s birdie on No. 15, one of only two he recorded all day. His undoing was the 16th, where he stroked another birdie after Lahiri had birdied it earlier, to force the tie.
Lahiri wouldn’t have any shot of the title at all if Chawrasia’s playing partner Siddikur Rahman, the defending tournament champion, hadn’t been just as bad on Sunday.
Just one stroke off the lead to star the day, Siddikur bogeyed four out of five holes to start the back nine, dropping back to a tie for seventh.
Several other men had a chance to force a three-way playoff or more. Sweden’s Joakim Lagergren, Sri Lanka’s Mithun Perera, Australia’s Marcus Fraser and Thailand’s Prayad Markasaeng all finished one sroke back of the lead.