Panchkula, Haryana, 27-09-2013
Shankar Das eases to two-stroke win
Amardip Sinh Malik finishes second
Kolkata’s Shankar Das produced a determined two-under-70 on Friday to ease to a comfortable two-stroke win at the PGTI Players Championship presented by Panchkula Golf Club. Shankar recorded a tournament total of 15-under-273 to lift his fourth professional title. Amardip Sinh Malik of Greater Noida finished as the runner-up.
Shankar Das (67-69-67-70), the overnight joint leader along with Chikkarangappa, came up with seven birdies against two bogeys and a triple-bogey in the final round to end a two-year title drought. Das began the day with a birdie-bogey on the first two holes. He then built a three-shot lead at the top by sinking a birdie from 20 feet on the fourth even as Chikka dropped bogeys on the third and fourth.
Das dropped a shot on the ninth but came roaring back with four birdies in succession from the 10th through the 13th to pull away from the rest of the field. The 30-year-old holed a 12-footer on the 10th and landed it close to the flag on the following three holes. Shankar all but sealed it with a great approach shot that set up a birdie on the 16th and gave him a five-stroke lead. The Kolkata-based professional finally won by just a two-stroke margin after hitting a poor tee shot that led to a triple-bogey on the 18th.
“I played some consistent golf today. My putter was also on fire. Things were looking good for me after the first five holes but Amardip then got within a shot of my score at the turn. I had to look for birdies from there on. I managed to pick up five birdies till the 16th thanks to some great hitting. A half-hearted drive on the 18th cost me a triple-bogey at the end. However, it wasn’t enough to stop me from crossing the line with relative ease,” said Shankar.
He added, “It’s been a wonderful week for me as I played to my potential. I’ve won after a long gap and cherish this win. I would like to thank my brothers Manik Das and Appu Das who are my caddie and coach respectively for their support and inputs. I would also like to thank my sponsor Mr. Dilip Thomas for all his encouragement. I dedicate this win to my wife and two kids as well as my mother Mrs. Aruna Das, who is on her road to recovery after a major surgery.”
Amardip Sinh Malik (68-69-69-69) was a threat to Shankar on the front-nine as he came within one stroke of the eventual champion. Malik made double-bogey on the fifth where his drive found the trees but still managed to make early inroads thanks to four birdies on the front-nine, including three on the trot from the sixth to the eighth. The 28-year-old added two birdies and a bogey on the back-nine to finish second at 13-under-275.
Malik, who is yet to win a title, said, “I played solid through the week and was very patient. I made three birdie putts from 15 to 25 feet in the final round. I just wanted to be on Shankar’s tail till the very end in order to give myself a chance. However, he just ran away with it with his birdie-spree on the back-nine. Nonetheless, I’m quite happy with my performance and would like to give credit for it to my coach Mr. Romit Bose and the 2A Academy.”
Chikkarangappa S (66-69-68-74) of Bangalore, the overnight joint leader along with Shankar, fired a 74 in round four to end up third at 11-under-277. Chikka made a poor start with three bogeys against a lone birdie on the front-nine as he struggled to find the centre of the fairway. He had a birdie and a bogey on the back-nine and couldn’t challenge Shankar at any stage.
Panchkula’s Angad Cheema secured tied fourth position along with Chandigarh golfer Sujjan Singh and the Delhi duo of Manav Jaini and Shamim Khan at nine-under-279.
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. Srinivasan H R (President), PGTI's governing body comprises leading Indian golf professionals. PGTI currently has over 300 members.
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