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Sunday, 8 November 2020

PGTI players meet: Akshay logs five-shot victory, Karandeep emerges second

Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 7

Chandigarh’s Akshay Sharma registered a resounding five-shot victory after coasting home with a final round of 5-under-67 at the Tata Steel PGTI Players Championship in Panchkula Golf Club.

The 30-year-old captured his second title in style by taking his tournament tally to 24-under-264, which also equalled the record for the lowest winning total on the PGTI, previously held by Anirban Lahiri and Rashid Khan jointly.

Another Chandigarh lad Karandeep Kochhar put together an error-free 67 to maintain his overnight second position. He scored 19-under-269 for the week.

Pune-based Udayan Mane shot the day’s joint best round of 66 to claim tied third place at 14-under-274 along with Bengaluru’s Chikkarangappa (69). Udayan thus extended his lead in the PGTI Order of Merit and is set to move up in the world rankings from his current 290th position.

Yuvraj Singh Sandhu, another Chandigarh golfer, finished fifth at 11-under-277 after he carded a last round of 67.

Sharma (64-66-67-67), the overnight leader by a massive five shots, who looked extremely relaxed and confident at the start of the final round, never seemed in trouble during the round as his lead was not under threat at any stage with the rest of the field struggling to catch up.

Sharma, leading by five at the turn, was unrelenting on the back-nine too as he picked up three more birdies till the 16th, including one on the par-411th where he drove the green. He finally bogeyed the last hole and missed out on setting a new record for the lowest winning total on the PGTI.

Sharma took home the winner’s cheque worth Rs 4,84,950 on Saturday and as a result climbed from 29th to fourth place in the PGTI Order of Merit.

“I was quite relaxed from the very outset today. I knew that I just had to make regulations to stay ahead. Importantly, I had worked on my weakness, my temperament, during the three months lockdown period when courses were closed. That seemed to have paid off because today I played with a cool mind and didn’t feel much pressure,” said Sharma.

Kochhar (68-65-69-67), who trailed the leader by five at the start of the day, produced five birdies on the last day, but was unable to catch up with the lead.

Kochhar won in the PGTI in 2016 as a 17-year-old while still an amateur. He moved up from 23rd to seventh place on the PGTI Order of Merit after his runner-up finish in Panchkula.

Gurugram’s Veer Ahlawat fired the day’s joint best 66 to secure tied sixth place at 10-under-278 along with Kolkata’s Viraj Madappa (71). Chandigarh’s Amrit Lal (68) was eighth at 9-under-279 while Patna’s Aman Raj (67) further shot back to ninth. Delhi’s Rashid Khan (74) finished tied at 25th place at 1-under-287.

from The Tribune

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