Shamim Khan wrests CG Open 2016 trophy and Rolex Ranking lead with a sparkling final round 62

Shamim Khan CG OpenMumbai: It all came together for Delhi’s Shamim Khan on the final day of the Rs. 1 crore CG Open 2016. He sank his longest putt of the week, a mammoth 35-footer for birdie on the final hole, for a flawless round of eight-under-62 that helped him wrest the title and the lead in the Rolex Ranking. Shamim’s 19-under-261 total was also the lowest four-round score in a professional event at the Bombay Presidency Golf Club (BPGC).

Bengaluru’s Khalin Joshi finished runner-up at 18-under-262 after a final round of 65 but also moved up to second place in the Rolex Ranking.

The 38-year-old Shamim Khan (67-66-66-62), lying overnight tied seventh and two off the lead, jumped into contention on Saturday with two early birdies on the second and third where he sank putts from 15 to 30 feet.

Khan, who won his last title in February 2015, then had a birdie blitz from the 10 to the 12th that took him into the joint lead at 16-under along with Khalin Joshi and Kapil Kumar. Shamim having regained his touch with the long range putts delivered another birdie from 15 feet to take the sole lead on the 15th even as his nearest competitor Khalin stumbled with a double-bogey on the 14th.

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The pro from the Delhi Golf Club marched to his 12th title in grand style (10th on the PGTI) with two more birdies on the 16th and 18th. Khalin made a brave charge towards the end with two eagles on the 16th and 18th but just fell short of Shamim’s total.

An elated Shamim said, “It’s been an incredible week. I dropped just three bogeys in the whole tournament. I had lost my touch with the long range putts in the last few months but it came back at the CG Open. I made three 15-footers today and two putts from 30 to 35 feet. That made all the difference.

“I knew I was in the race once I made three consecutive birdies on the 10th, 11th and 12th. But I decided not to check the leaderboard till the 17th. That worked for me. Once I saw I was two ahead after the 17th, I went for the birdie on the 18th.

“It’s great to win after so long. I owe a lot to my caddie ‘Gullu’ for this win. He was a great support. My ball-striking was also terrific through the week. I’m now looking to win my second Rolex Player of the Year title after 2012.”

Shamim’s 19-under-261 total eclipsed the previous lowest four-round score at the BPGC which was achieved by Jyoti Randhawa at the CG Open 2011 when he shot an 18-under-262.

Shamim who took home the winner’s cheque worth Rs. 15,00,000, has now skyrocketed from 12th position to number one in the Rolex Ranking with season’s earnings of Rs. 29,84,108.

Khalin Joshi’s (67-67-63-65) runner-up finish and prize purse of Rs. 10,00,000 helped him move up from fifth place to second position in the money list with season’s earnings of Rs. 29,11,490.

Delhi’s Kapil Kumar, the runner-up in Digboi last week, fired a third straight 67 to finish third at 15-under-265.

Former champion Harendra Gupta (67) of Chandigarh and Delhi’s Rashid Khan (68) were a further shot back in tied fourth.

Shubhankar Sharma (70) of Panchkula, the joint overnight leader slipped to sixth on the final day with a 13-under-267 total.

Chadigarh’s Sujjan Singh made a hole-in-one on the 10th during his fourth round of 67. He ended the week in tied 12th at nine-under-271.

Fifteen-year-old junior amateur Aadil Bedi of Chandigarh, the youngest player in the field, claimed tied 16th place at seven-under-273 after a final round of 69. Local professional Anil Bajrang Mane also shot a last round of 69 to take a share of 16th place along with Bedi.

Last year’s champion Ashok Kumar (71) of Delhi finished tied 24th at three-under-277.

Mumbai-based amateur Akash Modi (83) closed the week in 56th place at 15-over-295.

Leading Scores after Round 4 (72 holes):

261: Shamim Khan (67-66-66-62)
262: Khalin Joshi (67-67-63-65)
265: Kapil Kumar (64-67-67-67)