The Indian charge never happened on the final day as Anirban Lahiri and Jeev Milkha Singh, who had a chance to challenge for top honours failed to do so on the final day of the UBS Hong Kong Open here on Sunday. (Justin Rose Clinches Hong Kong Open title)
Lahiri, lying sole third on Saturday, admitted ‘running out of gas’ and ended with a rare over-par round of 71 and totalled 10-under 270 to finish tied-seventh. (Anirban Lahiri lies third after Day 3)
Jeev, who needed a top-2 finish to secure his card for 2016, had a worse struggle with two-over 74 and finished at six-under 274 in tied 24th place after being tied-fourth overnight.
England’s Justin Rose kept Denmark’s Lucas Bjerregaard at bay to win the title by one shot. Rose, who missed the cut at the Hong Kong showpiece in 2011, made up for that disappointment by posting a two-under-par 68 to win the USD 2 million event with a four-day total of 17-under-par 263.
Among other Indians, Gaganjeet Bhullar had one bogey on the first and his only birdie came on seventh as his 70 got him a total of nine-under 271 and tied-13th place.
Rahil Gangjee had four birdies against three bogeys for a 71 that gave him a total of seven-under 273 and tied-18th place. More importantly, it saw him climb into Top-60 at 52nd place on Money List and gave him a chance to keep his card for 2016.
Jyoti Randhawa (73) and SSP Chawrasia (74) had bad day in the office and tumbled down to tied-59th at one-over 281. Jeev and Chawrasia’s poor finish meant both will not have Tour cards for 2016, though Chawrasia at 114th might get some invites and berths apart from co-sanctioned events, where he will come from Asian Tour, where he is fourth on Money List.
Asian Tour Order of Merit winner, Lahiri’s fightback did not materialise and he felt he was let down by fatigue. He posted 71 and shared seventh place with Asian Tour honorary member Y.E. Yang, 2008 UBS Hong Kong Open winner, Lin Wen-tang of Chinese Taipei and England’s Matt Ford.
Lahiri, winner of Malaysian Open and Hero Indian Open this year, said, “I think I played pretty solid. Obviously a disappointing back nine today. Just felt like I ran out of gas today and I just didn’t have much energy left in the tank. I think it’s going to be a lot of rest before I tee it up next week on Thursday, but I’m playing well.”
He added, “Obviously I’ve got to manage my energy levels a little better now going to the next few weeks.”
On his finish, he said, “Yeah, I’m obviously disappointed with how I finished, because there were a lot of World Ranking point the this week, and this gave a few away. But having said that, I’m pretty happy. If I can play poorly on a Sunday back nine and still finish in seventh position, then I’m obviously doing something right. Next week (CIMB Classic) is critical. That’s probably the week that’s going to decide to a large extent how the rest of the Order of Merit chase runs out and hopefully I can play well next week.”
Korea’s Soomin Lee signed off with his week’s best score of 64 to share third place with American Patrick Reed, Australia’s Jason Scrivener and England’s Matthew Fitzpatrick at the Hong Kong Golf Club.