Macao, Oct 18 (IANS) Indian golfers Anirban Lahiri and Chiragh Kumar carded five-under 66 and 65, respectively, in the fourth and final round but failed to stop Australian Scott Hand (66) from securing a three-stroke victory in the $1 million Venetian Macao Open here on Sunday. Both defending champion Lahiri and Chiragh trailed Hend by three strokes at the end of the third day’s play, but last year’s runner-up Hend was determined to not fritter away the advantage at the Macau Golf and Country Club.
The 42-year-old Aussie scored a 66 to take his four-day total to 20-under 264 (66-68-64-66) to get his second Venetian Macao Open victory in three years. Hend got richer by $180,000. Lahiri and Chiragh shared the second place. Asian Tour leader Lahiri accumulated birdies on the first, second, sixth, 10th, 13th and 18th holes against bogeys on the 12th and 16th. Chiragh got birdies on the first, seventh, 13th and 18th, along with an eagle on the par-five second. The Delhi golfer dropped shots on the 16th.
However, the runner-up cheque of $86,500 secured Chiragh’s Asian Tour card for next year. World No.39 Lahiri said: “I can’t be disappointed. I played well today barring a couple of really silly mistakes. All credit to Hendy. He played phenomenal golf. “I was telling him that anytime you shoot a bogey-free five under when you’re leading by three, you’re not going to get caught very often. He’s earned this win.” Among other Indians in the fray, Rashid Khan carded 71 to take his total to 10-under 274 that gave him a share of the eighth place. S.S.P. Chawrasia (72) and Gaganjeet Bhullar (70) shared the 17th spot on 278 while Abhijit Chadda (75) and former Asian Tour champion Jyoti Randhawa (70) finished tied 45th on one-under 283. Rahil Gangjee went through a bad round of 79 that brought him down by 42 positions to finish tied 55th on one-over 285 in the 72-hole total.