Dhaka, Bangladesh, 06 Apr 2019

Ajeetesh Sandhu claims runner-up at Bangabandhu Cup Golf Open; Rashid Khan finishes third

India’s Ajeetesh Sandhu claimed a runner-up finish at the Asian Tour’s US$350,000 Bangabandhu Cup Golf Open at the Kurmitola Golf Club in Dhaka on Saturday even as Thailand’s Sadom Kaewkanjana became the record fastest Qualifying School graduate to win on the Asian Tour.

Sadom, playing in his first Asian Tour start this season, extended his overnight two-shot lead to four with two opening birdies but had to fend off the spirited challenge from India’s Ajeetesh Sandhu after dropping three consecutive bogeys from the 13th to blow the title race wide open.

The 20-year-old Thai, however, fought back gallantly with successive birdies on 16 and 17 to give himself a one-shot advantage over Sandhu, who dropped his first bogey in 63 holes on the par-five 17th, heading into the last.

After hitting his tee shot on the par-four 18 to behind the tree on the left, Sadom chipped it back to the middle of the fairway before hitting to about eight feet. He would eventually nail that par putt to close with a one-under-70 and a winning total of 19-under-265.

Sandhu, a one-time Asian Tour winner, closed with a second straight 65 to take second place at 18-under-266. The 30-year-old Sandhu had opened his campaign in Dhaka with three bogeys in eight holes but stayed bogey-free for 62 holes before dropping his fourth bogey of the week on the 71st hole on Sunday. 

Ajeetesh said, “I knew what I had to do when I started out. I actually did what I needed to so I am quite happy with that. I just made a mistake on one hole. I haven’t made any bogey in three and a half days. It’s not that I played the hole bad. I just missed out on the putt.

“I knew I had a one-shot lead after the birdie on 14 but nothing changed for me then. I played 15 and 16 pretty well but I knew I had to probably make one more birdie coming in. I didn’t manage to do that but overall, it’s been a great week, considering how I started the week with three bogeys in my opening eight holes.

“If someone had told me I would finish second at the start of the week, I would have taken that. I have been playing well for awhile now. I just didn’t have good finishes. It’s good to cap a good finish this week. A win would have been nice but it’s alright. I will take a couple of weeks off to rest before going to Volvo China Open.”

India’s Rashid Khan, a two-time winner on the Asian Tour, capped a second straight top-10 finish on the region’s premier Tour after battling to a 70 to settle two shots back in third at 17-under-267. Rashid had secured a tied 10th finish at the Indian Open last week.

Khan said, “I started alright. I hit it close to give myself opportunities to make birdies on the first few holes. I hit a few good shots but couldn’t hole the putts. It was all good.

“I expected it to be better but its fine. I just made some mistakes out there but otherwise, I am happy. Overall, it’s still a good finish for me.”

PGTI member Md Zamal Hossain Mollah emerged as the best-placed Bangladeshi for the second year straight after closing with a 65 to finish in tied 10th position at nine-under-275.

Karandeep Kochhar of India finished tied 12th at eight-under-276.

About PGTI:

Formed in 2006, Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) is the recognised official body of professional golf in India. PGTI's objective is to promote professional golf in the country, as well as to give players an opportunity to be involved in the decision making on all aspects of the game. Headed by Mr. Gautam Thapar (President), PGTI's governing body comprises leading Indian golf professionals. PGTI currently has over 300 members.

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