Sanjay posts super 65 to register impressive five-shot victory

Sanjay-Kumar-Winner-of-Chief-Minister-Meghalaya-Open-Golf-2014Shillong: Lucknow golfer Sanjay Kumar came up with an outstanding final round score of five-under-65 to register a comprehensive five-shot win at the Rs. 40 lakh Chief Minister’s Meghalaya Open Golf 2014. Sanjay ended the week with a total score of 16-under-264 at the richest tournament to be staged in North-East India. Mukesh Kumar of Mhow, Madhya Pradesh, finished a distant second at 11-under-269 after returning a 67 in round four.

Sanjay Kumar (66-66-67-65), who started the final day two shots ahead, was in control of the situation from start to finish. The 43-year-old had a quiet front-nine, sinking a lone birdie on the fourth. However, Sanjay gathered steam on the back-nine as he delivered four birdies including three on the trot from the 13th to the 15th. The seasoned professional who is known for his cool temperament landed it within four feet on the 13th and 14th and sank his longest putt of the day, a 15-footer, on the 15th. Sanjay thus ended up with the day’s joint best score of 65.

Sanjay, who bagged his seventh professional title and first on the PGTI in three years, said, “I’ve waited a long time for this win. I feel I’m back at the top of my game now. I’ve had a fantastic week and particularly enjoyed the weather conditions and course conditions here. I’d love to come back to the Shillong Golf Course for more professional events in the future.”

He added, “Even though I had a relatively quieter front-nine, I played some solid golf to not drop a stroke at any stage. I made a good par save on the eighth. When I birdied the 13th I knew I’m not too far from victory. It was important to have a good cushion at the top especially with the experienced Mukesh right behind me. I ensured I didn’t lose focus despite missing a few short putts early on. I dedicate this win to my family.”

Sanjay has now climbed from 15th place to sixth position in the 2014 Rolex Rankings.

Mukesh Kumar (64-72-66-67), another seasoned campaigner, who started the final round three shots off the lead in third place, carded a 67 on the last day to finish runner-up. Mukesh had five birdies and two bogeys on Saturday and missed two crucial eagle opportunities from 10 feet on the sixth and 10th. On the sixth he ended up with a birdie but on the 10th he three-putted for par. He had some consolation at the end, closing the day with a 15-feet birdie conversion on the 18th.

Mukesh, who climbed from 12th to ninth in the Rolex Rankings, said, “I just didn’t convert enough opportunities today. Sanjay is a player difficult to dislodge when he’s leading and therefore I needed to make a charge in the final round. However, the two missed eagle opportunities cost me dearly. I’ve really enjoyed playing and Shillong and look forward to coming back here every year.”

Kolkata’s Shankar Das submitted a card of four-under-66 in round four to finish third at 10-under-270. Shankar continues in second position on the Rolex Rankings but has now narrowed the gap between himself and the leader Rashid Khan to less than two lakh rupees.

Om Prakash Chouhan of Mhow and Sri Lankan K Prabagaran were joint fourth at eight-under-272.