Arshpreet Thind (66-68-69) of Gurgaon secured his maiden title after an impressive five-shot victory at the Ansal API Feeder Tour Championship presented by The Palms Golf Club – Sushant Golf City in Lucknow. Thind posted a three-under-69 in the final round to take his total to 13-under-203 for the week.
Delhi’s Gulfam (69-65-74) finished runner-up at eight-under-208 and as a result sealed the PGTI Feeder Tour Order of Merit title for 2014. Gulfam, who had won the Feeder Tour event at Forest Hill in Punjab two weeks back, topped the Order of Merit with earnings of Rs. 2,38,830. He has now earned a full card for the 2015 PGTI season (main tour). Akshay Sharma of Chandigarh finished second on the Order of Merit with earnings of Rs. 2,24,430. Akshay claimed tied 22nd place at the Ansal API Feeder Tour Championship.
Arshpreet Thind and Gulfam, who started the day as joint leaders, began with birdies on the first hole. There was a two-shot swing in favour of Gulfam on the sixth as he birdied and Thind dropped a bogey. Gulfam’s double-bogey on the ninth brought him back to level terms with Arshpreet, however Gulfam picked up a stroke again on the 10th to go one ahead.
The 31-year-old Thind, who plays at the Classic Golf Resort in Mewat, Haryana, landed it close for a tap-in birdie on the 11th to be all square with Gulfam once again. The 48-year-old Gulfam then dropped bogeys on the 12th and 16th and his second double-bogey of the day on the 15th to give Thind a comfortable four-stroke advantage. The brawny Thind, who has one of the strongest handshakes on the tour, finally ensured victory after driving the green on the par-4 17th to make birdie.
Thind said, “I was very consistent through the week having dropped just two bogeys in three rounds. I capitalized well on the good start on day one and kept the momentum going till the end. I made 16 greens in regulation today and therefore gave myself a lot of birdie opportunities. I drove the green on two par-4s today, the eighth and 17th. I also found two par-5 greens in two shots. I was playing in the leader group for the first time and I’m delighted that I played really well in such a pressure situation.
“This win would help me raise my game and improve my performances on the main tour. I dedicate this victory to my late grandmother who passed away a few weeks back,” added Thind.
Gulfam, the Feeder Tour Order of Merit champion, said, “It’s been a very satisfying Feeder Tour season. I’ve done well in all aspects of the game. I’m very pleased to achieve my goal of winning the Order of Merit and earning exemption on the PGTI for 2015.”
Pranav Kaul of Gurgaon fired a 69 in the final round to end up in third place at five-under-211.
Sheeraz Kalra of Lucknow was the best-placed among the local professionals. He finished tied fourth at four-under-212 along with Chandigarh’s Randhir Singh Ghotra.
The tournament was also supported by associate sponsors Tulsiani Group, Nilansh Group, Wealth Mantra, SCJ Developers and Mahindra RISE.