Colombo: The Standard Chartered Open 2012 produced a gripping finish to four days of top class golf at The Royal Colombo Golf Club, with the result in doubt until the very end of the 72 hole event. When the dust had settled and the final putt dropped, it was local star, Mithun Perera who took home the spoils with a stunning two shot ‘come from behind’ victory in the first ever Professional Golf Tour of India (“PGTI”) event to be held in Sri Lanka.
Perera carded a last round four under par 67 for an overall final score of 271, thirteen under par to win the first prize of just over LKR 1 million (approx INR 4,36,000). He finished one shot clear of Indian stars, Sanjay Kumar and Rashid Khan who ended on 272, eleven under par. Kumar had a commendable six under par 65, whilst Khan shot a five under par 66 – both very good rounds but not quite good enough to force a play-off.
“I’m thrilled to win my second PGTI victory, even more so because it is here in Sri Lanka and at my home club in front of a great crowd, thank you for coming out to cheer me on. There are a lot of people to thank who have supported me over the years, so a big thank you to them – in particular The Sri Lankan Ports Authority which has allowed me lots of time off to practice and the members here at the RCGC.
I need to thank Standard Chartered for their support of golf in Sri Lanka; without them and other sponsors, events like this couldn’t happen. It’s a fantastic day for me and Sri Lankan golf, I look forward to more tournaments here in the future” said Perera after he had received his trophy, winner’s cheque and commemorative ‘Standard Chartered Open 2012 Blazer’ from Mr Anirvan Ghosh, Chief Executive Officer of Standard Chartered Bank.
A feature of the week was the set-up of the Royal Colombo course; all the players were very complimentary about the course’s condition and the Club was thanked for presenting such good conditions for the players by Uttum Mundy, Director of the PGTI.
He also presented the Club’s Vice-Captain, Mr Nimal Priyaratna with a plaque from the PGTI to The Royal Colombo Golf Club in recognition of the Club hosting a PGTI tournament.
Anura Rohana, the other local Sri Lankan PGTI player, unfortunately for the local crowds was not able to mount any kind of challenge; he never really got his round going, finishing with a fourth round of 72, one over par. Despite that, he still finished well up in the overall tournament standings – tied 7th on nine under par with Abhinav Lohan from India.
The top two players overnight, Shamim Khan and Vinod Kumar both failed to push home their advantage with over par final rounds – Khan had a three over par 74 to finish in a tie for 5th on 274, ten under par, with Gaganjeet Bhullar who had a last round 67; Kumar fared slightly better with a one over par 72 to take outright 4th place on 273.
The Best Amateur award went to local rising star, Zen Dharmaratne, who had a three over par 74 for a four round total of 291, seven over par, to finish two shots clear of the other local amateur to play all four days, M Arumugam. Whilst not featuring at the sharp end of the leader-board on this occasion, great efforts from both amateurs nonetheless.
Honours for the best round of the day went to one of India’s leading players, Anirban Lahiri, who shot a seven under par 64 to finish tied 13th, seven shots behind the winning mark. Lahiri was one of the strong pre-tournament favourites but a slight neck injury impacted his early rounds, leaving him too much to do on the last day.
Final Scores – 271 Mithun Perera (71, 63, 70, 67); 272 Sanjay Kumar (67,67,73,65), Rashid Khan (67,71,68,66); 273 Vinod Kumar (66,68,67,72); 274 Gaganjeet Bhullar (70,70,67,67), Shamim Khan (68,64,68,74); 275 Abhinav Lohan (72,65,71,67), Anura Rohana (68,70,65,72); 276 Abhijit Singh Chadha (65,67,71,73)
By Indian Sports News Network