Matt Wallace held his nerve to overcome Andrew Johnston in a dramatic play-off and claim his second European Tour title at the Hero Indian Open in Delhi which moves him into the top 15 of the Race to Dubai Rankings.
The Englishman’s superb closing round of 68 ensured he secured a place in the play-off with fellow countryman Johnston who had carded a final round 66 with both men finishing 11 under par 277. At the first play-off hole Wallace’s superb second shot found the green and a two-putt sealed the win after Johnston’s long birdie putt narrowly missed.
The win saw the 27 year old pick up 291,660 points which takes his season tally to 377,390 and moves him from 76th to 14th in the Race to Dubai Rankings as he hunts down a debut berth in the season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai, which is open only to the top 60 ranked players.
“Many congratulations to Matt on the second European Tour victory of his career after his win in Portugal last year,” said Nick Tarratt, Director European Tour International, Dubai Office. “He’s making wonderful progress in the game and if he can continue this form he is in with a great chance of making his first DP World Tour Championship appearance at Jumeriah Golf Estates in November.”
Wallace had gone into the final day holding a share of the lead with Race to Dubai leader Shubankar Sharma who had set a course-record 64 in round two. However, the Indian never got going in the final round as Wallace took advantage with four birdies in his opening four holes before picking up another shot on the tenth.
“I played great,” said Wallace. “Ever since I was three-over through eight at the start of the week I’ve played some of the best golf of my life and to do it in style at the end in the play-off capped it off.
“Beef (Andrew Johnston) really had a great round today because I was playing fantastic so I thought I might have been a few more clear. His putt on the last should have gone in. I guess it’s just my day today.”
Johnston’s runner-up finish gains him 194,440 points which moves the 29 year old up to 17th from 50th in the Race to Dubai Rankings with a season total of 320,293.
Meanwhile, Spaniard Pablo Larrazábal and Austrian Matthias Schwab finished tied for fourth with both men picking up 80,850 points. Larrazábal’s season tally now stands at 327,537 which takes him from 19th to 15th whilst Schwab’s total of 103,283 saw him make great strides from 188th to 68th in the Rankings.
Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher made his way into the Race to Dubai’s all-important top 60 after a tied seventh place saw him pick up 48,125 points to move him from 87th to 51st with a season tally of 127,741.
The top three in the Race to Dubai Rankings remains the same despite Tommy Fleetwood and Tyrrell Hatton not playing in India. Indian star Sharma tops the bill with 978,198 after picking up 48,125 points for a tied seventh place finish at the DLF Golf & Country Club. Last year’s Race to Dubai winner Fleetwood sits in second place with a toal of 755,253 whilst compatriot Hatton completes the top three with a season tally of 739,700.
The DP World Tour Championship, Dubai takes place at Jumeirah Golf Estates from November 15-18.