Ahmedabad: Delhi’s Arjun Singh shot the day’s best score in the fourth round of the Final Qualifying Stage, a determined two-under-70, to emerge the winner at the PGTI’s Qualifying School for the 2020 season held at the Kensville Golf & Country Club near Ahmedabad.
The 50-year-old Arjun (75-72-73-70), a winner of 14 titles on the Indian professional circuit and one of the senior-most players in the field this week, sat atop the leaderboard at the end of the last round with a total of two-over-290.
Gurugram’s Deepinder Singh Kullar (71-73-74-73) took second place at three-over-291 after returning a final round of one-over-73.
The cut in the final round went at 16-over-304. Therefore, the top 39 players earned their cards for the 2020 TATA Steel PGTI season as four players were tied for 36th at 16-over-304 at the end of round four.
The top 39 included three amateurs. There were also four foreigners, all Bangladeshis, among the 39 players who earned their full cards.
The seasoned Arjun Singh, who was two off the pace in tied second after round three, began the day well with a 15-feet birdie conversion on the first hole. The pro from the Delhi Golf Club then accumulated two more birdies at the cost of a bogey till the 11th to be two-under for the day.
Arjun hit rough weather on the 12th and 13th having missed a short birdie putt on the former and dropping a bogey on the latter. With multiple contenders emerging on the back-nine including Deepinder Singh Kullar and Manav Jaini, Arjun managed to get his round back on track with an exceptional second shot from under a tree on the 15th that set up a three feet birdie conversion for him. Singh finally made pars on the last three holes to clinch victory.
Arjun said, “I had taken a break from golf last year so I played just six events on the PGTI in 2019. When I began the Final Stage, the idea was to shoot four decent rounds in order to get my card back. I didn’t really expect to win as the field here had a lot of good young players.
“Winning the Qualifying School seems to have injected a fresh lease of life in my game. I now feel rejuvenated and full of confidence ahead of the new season.
“I putted well today and made some good par-saves on the front-nine. It wasn’t easy negotiating the tough course and the windy conditions this week. You have to think your way around this course. I’m happy that I executed my plans well through the week,” added Arjun, who bagged a prize money cheque of Rs. 75,000 for his win.
Deepinder Singh Kullar, the round three leader by two shots, struck four birdies, three bogeys and a double-bogey during his 73 on Friday. Kullar missed a six-foot par putt on the last hole that could’ve taken the match into a playoff.
Allahabad’s Samarth Dwivedi (70) and Delhi’s Manav Jaini (72) took a share of third place at four-over-292. Dwivedi’s round of 70 which matched the day’s best, featured four successive birdies on the back-nine.
Gurugram’s Kartik Sharma finished as the best amateur. He was tied fifth at six-over-294.