Chowrasia holds on for win

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 9:59 AM ET

NEW DELHI, India -- S.S.P. Chowrasia shot a five-under 67 in Sunday's final round to capture the Avantha Masters by a single stroke over Robert Coles.

Coles had a chance to push the tournament to a playoff, but bogeyed the par- five 18th to allow Chowrasia to win his second career European Tour title at DLF Golf and Country Club. Chowrasia finished at 15-under 273 for the week.

Chowrasia had seven birdies and just one bogey on Sunday to overtake the third-round leader Coles, who held a one-stroke lead over Jeev Milkha Singh and Mark F. Haastrup heading into the final round.

"I am now ready to go back on The European Tour and have a real go at succeeding in Europe," Chowrasia said. "That is my goal now, to succeed in Europe because I really struggled there in my first season."

Coles finished his third round on Sunday as well due to an initial fog delay that pushed back the first round by 3 1/2 hours. He shot a two-under 70 in his final round with an eagle, two birdies and two bogeys to finish alone in second at 14-under 274.

Chowrasia's other European Tour title also came in his native India at the 2008 EMAAR-MGF Indian Masters.

The margin at the top of the leaderboard appeared to be slimmer than it actually was, with Chowrasia and Coles going head-to-head ahead of the field for a majority of the final round.

Early on, Chowrasia made a move with birdies at the first and fourth to move into a three-way tie for the lead with Pablo Larrazbal and Coles at 12-under, but Larrazbal quickly fell out of contention with a double bogey at the par- five sixth.

Chowrasia continued to surge with birdies at the seventh and eighth to make the turn at 14-under par, but Coles stayed right with him with a birdie at the sixth and an eagle at the par-four seventh.

When Coles posted his eagle, Chowrasia had just completed back-to-back birdies at the 10th and 11th, putting the Indian ahead by one stroke, 16-under to 15- under.

Coles cooled off after his eagle, posting a bogey at the eighth and a birdie at the ninth before eight straight pars to begin the back nine. Chowrasia, meanwhile added another birdie at the 14th to provide a two-stroke cushion.

On the par-three 16th, however, Chowrasia made a costly misstep, posting a double-bogey to fall into a share of the lead with Coles at 15-under par.

"I had one bad tee shot on the 16th today -- besides that it was an outstanding round," said Chowrasia. "Even after the 16th, I knew I had a chance to make birdies on the last two holes."

Chowrasia parred the final two holes, leaving Coles four holes with which to work. He couldn't move ahead on the first three chances, but had the par-five 18th to make or break his tournament.

The 18th was rather player-friendly on Sunday, with 29 eagles and birdies compared to just seven bogeys or worse. It was not to be for Coles, however, who missed an eight-foot par putt that would have extended the tournament into a playoff.

"I hit a great drive [on 18] and, let's be honest, should have at least made par from there," Coles lamented. "But the second shot was obviously adrenaline drive, and then you saw what happened from there.

"I just hit [my birdie putt from 20 feet] so hard, and it flew out of the middle of the putter and then I obviously missed the one coming back."

Gregory Havret (68) took third at 13-under par 275, while Robert-Jan Derksen (69) was fourth at minus-12.

NOTES: Coles was seeking his first European Tour victory. It was, however, his first runner-up finish on tour...Larrazabal finished tied for fifth at 11- under par 277 after firing an even-par 72 on Sunday...David Howell had the best final round with a six-under 66, but finished in a share for 36th at four-under par overall...Next week the only European Tour event is the WGC- Accenture Match Play Championship.


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