PROFESSIONAL GOLF TOUR OF INDIA
Rohana’s Steely Resolve Pays Off
Sri Lankan Anura Rohana’s steely resolve in ‘Steel City’ Jamshedpur saw him cruise to a four-shot victory at the 16th TATA Open, a Rs. 1 crore event. Rohana returned a clinical final round of 2-under 69 to total 19-under 265 for the week and, as a result, grab his second title of the season.
The quintet of Kolkata-based golfers Viraj Madappa (66) and Raju Ali Mollah (70), Gurgaon’s Manu Gandas (68), Delhi’s Shamim Khan (69) and Noida’s Vikrant Chopra (69) finished joint runners-up at 15-under 269 at the penultimate event of the season staged at Golmuri Golf Course.
44-year-old Rohana, who won his fifth PGTI title along with a cheque of Rs. 15 lakh moved from 12th to third on the Order of Merit. “I began the day looking for a round of four to five under and was quite aggressive on the back-nine. That did the trick for me. The birdie on the 10th was the highlight of my round as I almost holed out from 45 yards. I’m delighted with this win as it gives me a chance to contend for the PGTI Order of Merit title. I began the year with a top-5 finish on the money list on my mind. I’ve almost achieved that goal.”
Dharma Prevails in Playoff at CG Open
Bengaluru golfer M Dharma’s aggressive approach paid off as he triumphed at the Rs. 1 crore CG Open 2017 after defeating Lucknow’s Sanjeev Kumar on the second playoff hole. The two golfers headed for a playoff after finishing the final round with matching totals of 16-under 264 at Bombay Presidency Golf Club (BPGC).
M Dharma (67-66-64-67), lying overnight tied second and two off the lead, collected 3 birdies on the first 5 holes to rise into contention early in the day. But the match almost slipped out of his hands when he double-bogeyed the 15th following an error in club selection. However, Dharma roared back with a brave bogey on the 18th to take the match into a playoff.
A pleased Dharma said later, “My aggressive play really paid off for me today. I first went for the flag on the final hole in regulation as I knew I had to make an eagle to get in the playoff. I managed to do that. Then finally, I pulled it off on the decisive playoff hole for a win.”
Shamim Utilises Experience in Digboi
Seasoned pro Shamim Khan defeated youngster Veer Ahlawat in a playoff to register his second win at the Rs 40 lakh IndianOil SERVO Masters.
39-year-old Shamim and 21-year-old Veer ended the regulation 72 holes with identical scores of 9-under 279 at Digboi Golf Links. It was the veteran’s third title of the season and his 15th overall.
Shamim took home the winner’s cheque of Rs. 6 lakh for his effort. The Delhi pro, who previously won in Digboi in 2014, said, “My putting wasn’t great for the second consecutive day and when I missed a two-footer for par on the eighth, I knew I was in trouble. However, I hung in there with pars all the way till the end. I was quite happy to take it into the playoff after having trailed Veer on the back-nine. In a playoff situation, experience always counts. That’s what saw me through at the end. I felt Veer tried a bit too hard during the playoff.”
Manu Gandas of Gurgaon, another 21-year-old, fired a final round of 71 to take third place at 7-under 281. Bangladesh’s Md Zamal Hossain Mollah struck a 67 to end tied fourth at five-under-283.
(Read more in the January issue of Golf Digest India. Download here.)