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SSP Chawrasia falters; Wade Ormsby grabs Hong Kong title

After playing some amazing and steady golf for 62 holes, SSP Chawrasia faltered over the last 10 and dropped from sole lead to a disappointing T-7th at the Hong Kong Open on Sunday.

The Indian, starting the day at 10-under, had moved to 13-under and seemed to be in total control, although Alexander Bjork made the big charge on the front nine.

But it was Wade Ormsby, quite over the front nine, and purposeful on the back nine, who won the title in the end.

Shubhankar Sharma double bogeyed the 18th but finished T-10 after a round of 67 and he totalled 7-under to tie with stalwarts like Justin Rose (68) and Kiradech Aphibarnrat (67).

Another Indian in Mukesh Kumar (73) was T-62.

After a great start with three birdies in first eight holes, Chawrasia ran into all sorts of trouble on the ninth and gave away a triple bogey, and it suddenly opened the door for the challengers.

Meanwhile, Ormsby, tied-2nd overnight, was still at 9- under and Bjork was 12-under.

Chawrasia fought back to birdie 10th but bogeyed four times in five holes on 11th, 12th, 14th and 15th and it was all but over for him. A birdie on 16th was a mere consolation.

Ormsby, the Australian, entered the fourth round a shot behind Chawrasia and when he turned in level-par 34, he was four behind his Indian rival.

As Chawrasia fell apart and others were unable to mount the challenge, Ormsby crept up with birdies on 10th, 14th and 17th. At the same time, Rafa Cabrera-Bello also made a charge with three birdies on back nine.

Ormsby held a two-shot lead as he stood on the 18th fairway at Hong Kong Golf Club.

As Cabrera-Bello birdied the 17th to pile on the pressure, there was a closing three-putt bogey from Ormsby and it left the duo in a tie at 11 under.

Cabrera-Bello then put his second shot in the bunker at the front of the final green and when he failed to get up and down, the title went to Ormsby.

Bjork, Paul Peterson and Julian Suri finished alongside Cabrera-Bello at 10-under, a shot clear of Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood.

Ormsby played his first season on the European Tour in 2004 after coming through the Qualifying School and he has done that four times since in a career that has also seen him struggle with injury at times.

A fifth-placed finish at the Andalucia Valderrama Masters hosted by the Sergio Garcia Foundation ensured he eventually kept his card in comfortable fashion last season and the 37- year-old will now have an exemption until 2020 after winning at the 264th time start.

A disappointed Chawrasia was still graceful and said the champion deserved the win.

“I was playing well after a good start but the triple bogey on ninth derailed me. After that I kept dropping shots. But overall, I managed to make a comeback. I had a couple of putts missed, but that’s all right. It’s part of the game,” he said.

“There are three events more to play and there’s a good chance for me on the Asian Tour Order of Merit. It’s not over yet at least for the Order of Merit title,” Chawrasia added.

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