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Wallace overcomes Beef with play-off heroics at the Indian Open
Another week, another English winner on the European Tour as Matt Wallace edged out fellow countryman Andrew Johnston in India for his second win.
What happened at the Indian Open?
Two years ago, Matt Wallace (68) was winning everything on the Alps Tour, now he has two victories in just 32 starts on the main tour after beating Andrew Johnston (66) in a play-off.
In the end it came down to the two Englishmen and Wallace closed out his opponent with a huge drive and cracking long iron to the par-5 18th in overtime. ‘Beef’ played it conventionally, laying up, and then saw a his long birdie putt catch the lip and stay out.
Wallace led for much of the day as both players piled up the birdies but a brilliant three by Johnston at the treacherous 17th and a Wallace bogey at 16 meant they were tied.
American Sihwan Kim finished at eight under in third, a shot clear of Spaniard Pablo Larrazabal, who nearly missed his tee time on day one, and Austrian Matthias Schwab.
“Ever since being 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 that style at the end there capped it off. “I hit some really good shots and that play-off: I pumped it down there on the last and it went a long way and then a 4-iron went even further than I thought it would, so I was jacked up a bit. To hit two shots like that is exactly why I play the game.”
Shubhankar Sharma is making quite a name for himself. Last week he was being blanked by Phil Mickelson in Mexico before then joining him in the final group on Sunday, the 21-year-old then got an invite to Augusta and this week he somehow managed a course-record 64 at the DLF Golf and Country Club, one of the toughest weeks of the year.
It was all the more impressive given that the Race to Dubai leader had just flown halfway across the world and opened with a 73.
His playing partner Johnston, who himself had a 66 on Friday, said: “Shubhankar is great to play with, he’s such a nice bloke. We got on really well. I said next time he’s over in London I’ll take him out to dinner.
“I can’t believe he’s only 21. The head on him is amazing, and his attitude. He’s come back from whatever score he was on, three or four over, to that. It’s incredible, so hats off to him. Very impressive.”
Shubhankar, who came home in 30, added: “This round will definitely rank up there as one of my most significant achievements, especially when it is played at this course,” he said. “This is a tough course and it is not easy to go low here. I’m very happy with the way I played. I’ve shot a few low numbers in my career and this one is right in my top five.”
He finished the week in a share of seventh.