There is no such thing as a sure winner. More so in golf where the saying is that Championships are decided on the back nine on Sunday. The 2018 Hero Indian Open was no different. When play began on Sunday, any one of the dozen-odd players within three to four shots of the lead could have clinched the Trophy. In the end, Matt Wallace who co-led with our local star, Shubhankar Sharma, held his own and even survived a play-off against a resurgent Andrew Johnston to win what was only his second European Tour title.
As for Shubhankar, there is no need for him to get disheartened. I am sure he would have loved to add the Hero Indian Open to his list of successes. But it was not to be. He was unable to find the momentum and it is always unfortunate when anyone runs into three double bogeys on a final day. For now, the Hero Indian Trophy goes out of India for the first time being here for three years. It will give all of us a great incentive to fight back for it.
Wallace, who has played his way through the Alps and then Challenge Tours, has now secured his place in the European Tour. He was amazing the way he handled himself over the last two days, after being somewhat in the back ground on the first two days. Ironically it was not a 65 (like Emiliano Grillo) or 64 (like Shubhankar) that put Wallace into the frame, but it was a hard-fought 70 on a difficult third day that showed that he was a threat as he shared the lead with Shubhankar. On the final day he kept his nose ahead of challengers like Johnston, Kim Sihwan, Pablo Larrazabal and Matt Schwab with a solid front nine of four-under.
In the play-off he showed a lot of heart and went for the green as he has done most times this and won with a birdie while Johnston layed up just as he had the whole week. Wallace deservedly won the title and I am sure he will be back despite saying it was a tough course.