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Former caddie shoots 67, wins Indian Masters

Photo: David Cannon/Getty Images

S.S.P. Chowrasia won by two shots over Damien McGrane.

NEW DELHI (AP) — Unheralded Indian golfer Shiv Chowrasia shot a 5-under-67 in the final round Sunday to clinch the Indian Masters title at the Delhi Golf Club.

Chowrasia, 29, had a bogey-free final round to win his maiden European Tour title with a four-round aggregate of nine-under par 279, two strokes ahead of Ireland's Damien McGrane who finished on seven-under par 281.

Chowrasia surged into the lead by firing three birdies over the first four holes. Not allowing his nerves to play up, the former caddie stayed ahead of the field thereafter.

"This is the biggest achievement of my life, it's beyond my expectations," said Chowrasia, the son of a greenskeeper at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club.

"I can't describe my emotions as it hasn't quite sunk in yet," Chowrasia said. "Playing the last few holes, I realized the title was within my grasp.

"Playing safe and keeping my calm was important at that stage, so I kept my cool," he said.

Chowrasia said he had a good feel about his game before the tournament, "but had no idea I will come up with this title-winning performance."

The $2.5 million Indian Masters was jointly sanctioned by the Asian Tour on which Chowrasia plays regularly, but without previously winning a title.

Marking the biggest achievement of his career, Chowrasia emulated fellow Indians Arjun Atwal and Jeev Milkha Singh, who have previously won titles on the European Tour.

McGrane's challenge suffered a jolt when he bogeyed the seventh hole. His final round card featured three bogies and five birdies for a two-under par 70 to finish two shots ahead of Spain's Jose Manuel Lara, who finished with five-under par 283 after a par-72 round Sunday.

Overnight leader Raphael Jacquelin of France had a two-over par 74 to leave him on 284, in tied fourth position with local golfer Digvijay Singh.

World No. 4 and two-time U.S. Open champion Ernie Els shot one-under par 71 in the final round to figure in a five-way tie for the sixth spot along with Thomas Bjorn, Gaurav Ghei Maarten Lafeber and Ross McGowan.

Els was unable to recover from a disappointing opening round, which featured a quadruple-bogey 9.

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