Chiragh Kumar wears the Bilt Crown


Greater Noida: Riding high on his second place at the Indian Open 2011, Chiragh Kumar finally got his first win of the year after he came from behind to win the Bilt Open 2011 played here at the Jaypee Greens Golf Resort today. The Delhi boy Chiragh trailing by eight strokes from the overnight leader Anirban Lahiri played a bogey free round and submitted a score of five under 67 with an overall score of 15 under 273.

Chiragh played some good golf and hit five birdies off which four came in the back nine. The Delhi golfer hit a 30 footer birdie in the seventh which actually gave him the momentum and he got consecutive birdies in the 10th and 11th hole. He then went on to score one more birdie with a 6 feet putt in the 15th hole. But the turning point in the game was the 17th hole where he sank in a 50 footer birdie, which took him to joint lead with the leaders Anirban Lahiri and Vikrant Chopra. Chiragh, who played some consistent golf over the last few months, however had a win eluding him and feels that the win came at the right time.

“I didn’t really start the day expecting to finish as a winner. Eight stroke deficit on the final day is a huge thing to overcome. I was not putting that well initially and missed some three or four putts within 12 feet but the birdie on the seventh hole, and that was a turning point of the match. It gave me the momentum I required,” said Chiragh.

Chiragh, who was never in contention, feels that the win was possible because of some good decision making and some right selection of clubs. “I was not looking at the leader board at all. It was only during the last three holes that I came to know that the leaders dropped some shots and I had a chance to win. But I never took any pressure because of that and stuck with my normal game. I took some good decision and made some right selection of clubs,” added the Delhi golfer.

Chiragh who flies to Singapore next week to play the Barclays Singapore Open, an Asian Tour and European Tour co sanctioned event hopes to keep us his momentum going and wants to concentrate more on Asian Tour events where he does have a win yet.

Meanwhile the final day blues came back to haunt the defending champion and the overnight leader carded a four over 76. Anirban who always believes in his short game more that good hitting had a disastrous round as he bogeyed the sixth, 14th , 17th hole and a double bogey at the 13th hole. His only birdie off the round came in the 12th hole where he putted from a distance of six feet.

“You cannot win a tournament with 19 putts on the back nine and 14 putts on the last six holes. I made a lot of mistakes while choosing the clubs. I was ridiculous and more that disappointing,” said the defending champion.

However even though he had a bad round he could still have made it to the playoff and stretch the day had his birdie putt on the eighteen hole not lipped out. “I don’t know how many lip outs I had today. I guess when it is not meant to be, it does not happen. I don’t believe in the fatalistic approach that if doesn’t have to happen it would not happen. I made a lot of mistakes. I hit nothing close to the pin today and my putting also didn't back it up, it was a nightmare,” added the two times Bilt Open winner Anirban.

Vikrant Chopra who started the day second was playing good and got three birdies in the front nine and started off with a motivating birdie in the back nine. It was the 14th hole that spoiled it for him, where his tee shot landed in the bunker. It took him two shot to bring the ball out of bunker and then took another two putts to complete the Par 3 hole ending up with a bogey.

He gained a shot in the next hole, but one shot penalty in the 18th hole, eventually ending with a bogey. “"I was trying to play an aggressive line in my tee shot on the 18th hole but ended up losing a stroke and having a bogey but no worries. I was just bad luck .Even at the 14th, I hit the bunker and my idea was to get the ball over the bunker and just triple it into the hole. It was bad luck but it didn't bother me as I hit a birdie on the next," he added.

Gaurav Ghei and Shamim Gaurav Ghei and Shamim Khan fired scores of 67 in the fourth round to finish joint fourth at 13 under 275.

Jyoti Randhawa carded a 70 on Saturday to bag sixth place with an 11 under 277.

By Samikshan Dutta Choudhury

Indian Sports News