PGTI Players C'ship: Rashid holds nerve to bag title

PGTI Players C'ship: Rashid holds nerve to bag titleCoimbatore: Rashid Khan held his nerve to edge out fellow Delhi golfer Vikrant Chopra in a playoff to win the PGTI Players Championship at the Coimbatore Golf Club on Saturday.

Rashid Khan (70-67-70-75) bagged his second professional title after victory on the third playoff hole (18th hole) against Vikrant Chopra (72-67-70-73). The two golfers ended the regulation 72 holes with identical totals of six-under-282 and had to therefore head into a playoff to decide the winner. Both golfers made pars on the first two playoff holes. Rashid finally clinched the title by converting a 20-feet birdie putt on the third playoff hole even as Vikrant missed his 25-feet birdie putt.

Rashid and Vikrant were the only real contenders on the final day. Rashid, the overnight leader by two strokes, posted a three-over-75 that featured two birdies and five bogeys in extremely windy conditions in round four. Vikrant, who was overnight second and two strokes behind Rashid ahead of the final round, kept pace with Rashid on the final day with a one-over-73 that included three birdies and four bogeys. Vikrant was in fact one stroke ahead after 17 holes but dropped a bogey on the 18th that led to a playoff.

Rashid, who moved from 10th to fifth position on the Rolex Rankings after his win, said, “I am delighted with this win. I struggled with my hitting and putting due to the wind but managed to take my chances towards the end of the day. A playoff is always very tense and I held my nerve just at the right time to pull it off.

“I started the day well with a 15-feet birdie putt on the first but then lost my way with some poor hitting and putting and as a result bogeyed the third, fourth, seventh and 11th. I was not able to apply my strategy of playing regulation golf to stay ahead in the middle stages of my round. However, I managed to play to my game-plan in the playoff.”

C Muniyappa of Bangalore and Kolkata’s Feroz Ali Mollah shared the third spot with matching totals of three-under-285.

Amardip Sinh Malik of Meerut and Chandigarh’s Harendra Gupta were a further shot back in tied fifth place.

S Sidhartha of Coimbatore won the trophy for the best amateur score. Sidhartha, the only amateur to make the cut, ended up with a total of seven-over-295 to be placed overall tied 22nd.

By Indian Sports News Network