Wallace beats Johnston in playoff for Hero Indian Open

Matt Wallace beat fellow Englishman Andrew Johnston at the first extra hole

Matt Wallace wins Hero Indian Open
Matt Wallace wins Hero Indian Open
(Image credit: Getty Images)

England’s Matt Wallace beat his countryman Andrew “Beef” Johnston at the first hole of a sudden death playoff for the Hero Indian Open at DLF G&CC in New Delhi.

Matt Wallace made a birdie at the first extra hole of the Hero Indian Open to see off fellow Englishman Andrew Johnston and win his second European Tour title.

Wallace had a share of the lead going into the final day and a closing 68 saw him finish on 11-under-par, a four-round score that had already been posted by Johnston following his final round 66.

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The pair returned to the par-5 18th to settle the tournament over extra holes. Wallace hit a huge drive and reached the putting surface in two blows. Johnston laid up and put his third onto the green. When “Beef’s” birdie putt lipped out, Wallace had two putts for the title. He took them and won for a second time on the European Tour, following his victory last year in the Open de Portugal.

Matt Wallace tees off on the par-3 3rd

Matt Wallace tees off on the par-3 3rd

"I played great," he said. "Ever since being three over through eight at the start of the week I've played some of the best golf of my life and to do it in that style at the end there capped it off. There are some great champions of this event. SSP (Chawrasia) held it for a couple of years there and I am so happy to get my name on the trophy.”

Both Johnston and Wallace started the final day well and, as others fell away, the two Englishmen moved clear at the top of the board.

Through nine holes Wallace was three in front but Johnston finished strongly with birdies on the 13th and 17th holes. When Wallace dropped a shot on the par-3 16th, they were tied for the lead. Wallace parred the final two holes and extra holes were required.

Andrew Johnston blasts out of the sand

Andrew Johnston blasts out of the sand

Local favourite Shubhankar Sharma had shared the lead with Wallace through 54 holes but the Race to Dubai points leader struggled in the final round. He closed with a disappointing 75 to drop down into a tie for seventh place with Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher.

Sihwan Kim of the USA ended the week in third place with Spain’s Pablo Larrazabal and Austria’s Matthias Schwab tied for fourth. Argentina’s Emiliano Grillo was left to rue a poor third round of 78. He had led through 36 holes and despite his struggles on Saturday, he still finished alone in sixth place.

With the win Wallace has climbed into the top-20 on the Race to Dubai standings.

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Hero Indian Open DLF G&CC, New Delhi, India Mar 8-11 Purse: €1,420,000 Par: 72

1 Matt Wallace (Eng) 69 70 70 68 277 €235,495 2 Andrew Johnston (Eng) 72 66 73 66 277 €156,996 3 Sihwan Kim (USA) 70 70 72 68 280 €88,454 T4 Pablo Larrazabal (Esp) 67 71 74 69 281 €65,281 T4 Matthias Schwab (Aut) 71 72 68 70 281 €65,281 6 Emiliano Grillo (Arg) 65 68 78 72 283 €49,455 T7 Stephen Gallacher (Sco) 72 71 67 74 284 €38,857 T7 Shubhankar Sharma (Ind) 73 64 72 75 284 €38,857 T9 Jinho Choi (Kor) 72 71 72 71 286 €28,637 T9 Joost Luiten (Ned) 71 69 74 72 286 €28,637 T9 Aaron Rai (Eng) 71 73 69 73 286 €28,637

Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin (also of Golf Monthly)... Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?