Matt Wallace triumphs in play-off to win Hero Indian Open


Matt Wallace won his second European Tour title with a dramatic play-off victory over Andrew 'Beef' Johnston at the Hero Indian Open.

The Englishman entered the day at DLF Golf and Country Club with a share of the lead and a closing 68 got him to 11 under, a total matched by compatriot Johnston after a 66.

It was an emphatic day for English golf, with Wallace and Johnston going head to head in India before Paul Casey would go on to win the PGA Tour's Valspar Championship in Florida.

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Wallace was the first winner of the day, getting the better of Johnston in the play-off on the first extra hole by producing one of the shots of the tournament to hit the par-five 18th hole in two. Johnston elected to lay-up, and once he lipped out for birdie Wallace was able to two-putt for his second European Tour title (the first coming at last season's Open de Portugal at Morgado Golf Resort)

"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.

"Beef really had a great round today because I was playing fantastic and thought I might have been a few more clear.

"I hit some really good shots and that play-off: I pumped it down there on the last and it went a long way and then a four iron went even further than I thought it would so I was jacked up a bit. To hit two shots like that is exactly why I play the game.

"With the people that were coming up behind me, there were some real class players.

"Beef's putt on the last should have gone in and it's just my day today."

Wallace continues his impressive rise through the ranks, having won in Portugal in just his fourth European Tour event, and now adding a second trophy to his cabinet. He'd previously been playing on the Alps Tour in 2016 but six wins that season - including five in a row - which got him onto the Challenge Tour prior to his first win in Portugal. 

But it's also been a positive progression for Beef, whose decision to play in America last year didn't produce the results he'd been hoping for, gaining a solitary top 10 the entire year. 2018 is a different story, having already posted two top-10s in just six starts on the European Tour. 

"I’m very happy with the way I played this year," he said. "Last year was tough. This year’s start has been good so I've just got to keep pushing on and keep working hard."

"I feel good as I played very well today, like I did on Friday," said Johnston. "I was happy to be able to put up a good score today and force a play-off.

"I was trying to stay patient and I wanted to start well. Yesterday I made a mistake on the eighth and made a birdie on ninth. Today I made birdies on both holes which was good. I played solid on the back nine so I played lovely all day.

"Anything could have happened out there. I just tried to play my own game and I knew that I was just a couple of shots behind. When I birdied 17th and I got to the green on 18th, I realised we were tied.

"I didn’t like the yardage at the 18th. It felt like it was just setting me down the left towards the traps a lot of the time. I said, 'this is a percentage golf course and stick to it'. I’ve been hitting the wedges well, putting well and sticking to my game plan and that was what I worked for.

"I’m slightly frustrated as I attempted a similar putt on the 18th during regulation play. I didn’t think it broke that much and I hit a good putt but it didn’t go in.

"It’s alright. I had a very good week."