(Reuters) - India’s Anirban Lahiri bagged the Venetian Macau Open title by a stroke in a tense finish after leader Scott Hend of Australia bogeyed the final hole on Sunday.
The 27-year-old Lahiri, trailing defending champion Hend by two strokes after the third round, carded a five-under-par 66 in the final round for a total of 17-under.
Hend, who came to Macau after winning last week’s Hong Kong Open, missed his par putt on the 18th and a chance to force a playoff and ended tied second with Thailand’s Prom Meesawat.
“It’s really special. Hendy was playing great golf and it was sad to see him missing that putt on the last,” said Lahiri, who finished runner-up to Hend in Macau last season.
”I knew he was playing some good golf and I told myself that I was going to keep coming back, keep coming back and keep attacking.
“I wanted to make him think I was not going to go away. I think I played really well.”
Hend made a bright start with an eagle on the second and gained two more shots by the eighth hole to build on his lead but bogeys on the ninth, 11th and 14th changed the momentum in favor of the Indian.
Lahiri, who clinched his second win of the season and fifth Asian Tour victory, sunk six birdies against a lone bogey on the seventh hole.
He tied Hend for the lead with a birdie on 14th and took the lead with another gain on the next hole.
Hend was not ready to give up yet and tied the scores again with a birdie on the 16th before his slip on the final hole.
”I hit too many loose shots and then on the last hole, I had a lip out which I thought I put a good putt on it,“ Hend rued. ”Unfortunately it lipped out. I looked up to see it lipping out. I thought I had made the putt.
“To be honest, the tournament had slipped as the tee shot wasn’t in play. I had to hit the fairway which would have made it a lot easier but I missed the fairway which made my job a little bit harder.”
Writing by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai,; editing by Pritha Sarkar