Noida: Honey Baisoya continued his golden run from 2016 as he bagged his third title in a span of three months on the PGTI. The Delhi golfer delivered a resolute three-under-69 in round four of the PGTI Players Championship at Noida Golf Course to win the season-opener with a comfortable four-shot margin at 13-under-275.
Shamim Khan (74), Ajeetesh Sandhu (74) and Shankar Das (77), all contenders coming into the final round, couldn’t break par on Friday. While Shamim finished second at nine-under-279, Ajeetesh and Shankar shared third place at seven-under-281.
Honey Baisoya (70-67-69-69), lying two shots back in third place ahead of the final day, had a quiet first 13 holes with two birdies and three bogeys but then went on to wrest the initiative with four birdies on the last five holes.
On an extremely windy day that didn’t see too many low scores, Baisoya ran away with it after the 13th thanks to some excellent ball-striking. He closed the tournament in style with a 15-feet birdie conversion on the 18th.
Honey said, “It was an up and down round in the initial stages as I felt the pressure. But I kept myself calm and just worked towards achieving my target of two-under. The important thing was that I was more aggressive in my approach than the previous rounds. I used the driver on more occasions than before and drove really well.
“I guess my two wins last year have given me the confidence to fight back from tough situations and believe in myself even when I’m not the frontrunner on the final day. Earlier when I hadn’t tasted victory I could never convert my opportunities in the latter stages of a tournament. But that is not the case anymore.
“Among the my three wins so far, I rate this one as the best as I had some very experienced players like Shamim Khan and Shankar Das competing against me for the title till the very end,” said Baisoya, who had set a PGTI record by making 19 eagles in the 2016 season.
Shamim Khan (66-71-68-74), lying one off the pace in second after round three, wasn’t at his best in the fourth round as he scrambled through the day. He was three-over through 13 after finding the trees on two occasions and the water hazard once. The Delhi golfer’s only consolation was the 15 feet birdie conversion on the 18th.
“This is one of my favourite courses but today I kept landing it in the wrong places. My round just didn’t take off. My putting average was poor as I missed a lot of eight to 12 feet putts. The only long putt I sank was on the final hole and by then it was too late.
“Nonetheless, it’s a solid start to the season and I feel I’m getting back to my best slowly but surely,” said Shamim.
Chandigarh’s Ajeetesh Sandhu (68-69-70-74), who started the day in fourth, three off the lead, was in the race till he made the turn at one-under on Friday. However, a three-over on the back-nine dashed his hopes as he secured tied third.
Kolkata’s Shankar Das (67-68-69-77), the overnight leader by one, dropped out of contention early as he was three-over through 13 holes courtesy some erratic tee shots. He conceded three more strokes on the last four holes to close the week with a forgettable 77.
Sanjeev Kumar of Lucknow shot the day’s best score of 67 to finish tied fifth at six-under-282 along with Chandigarh’s Harendra Gupta (71).
Gaurav Pratap Singh in tied 14th at one-over-289 was the highest-placed Noida golfer.