Golf: Anirban and Kochhar to continue playoff duel on Monday after being tied on first two extra holes
Karandeep Kochhar and Anirban Lahiri

Golf: Anirban and Kochhar to continue playoff duel on Monday after being tied on first two extra holes

Chandigarh, December 6, 2020

The third edition of the Rs. 1.5 crore Jeev Milkha Singh Invitational has again produced a playoff and the duel between former Asia No. 1 Anirban Lahiri (70-68-70-69) and local favourite Karandeep Kochhar (76-66-67-68) has been extended into Monday due to fading light.

The third extra hole of the playoff resumes at 9 am on Monday.

Gurugram’s Manu Gandas produced the day’s best score of 66 to take joint third place with Patna’s Aman Raj (70) at 10-under 278.

Chandigarh’s Akshay Sharma, the leader in the second and third rounds, ended the week in tied fifth at eight-under 280 after his last round of 74. Gurugram’s Veer Ahlawat (72) also claimed tied fifth.

Kochhar and Lahiri ended the regulation 72 holes with matching totals of 11-under 277 after Kochhar, who began the week with a disappointing 76, made a grand comeback with his determined last round of 68 while Lahiri stayed the course with a resilient 69.

At the end of regulation play, Kochhar incurred a one-stroke penalty for accidentally causing the ball to move on the 17th hole. He joined seven-time international winner Lahiri in a playoff to decide the winner.

In regulation play, Kochhar, winner of PGTI’s last event at the same venue in November, was on the button with his short game as he collected birdies with 10 to 20 feet conversions on the fourth, eighth and 11th.

He also chipped-in for a birdie on the 15th and landed his bunker shots within six and four feet for birdies on the second and 16th. On the 17th, his ball landed in the right rough before he accidentally caused it to move, thus resulting in a double-bogey there.

Lahiri, on the other hand, was not having it easy on the front-nine as he dropped two bogeys in exchange for a birdie. But Lahiri’s round was back on track with tap-in birdies on the 13th and 16th and a 15-feet birdie conversion on the 15th.

The two-time winner on the European Tour then picked up another birdie on the 17th, thanks to a good drive.

Lahiri, who started the day in tied third, two off the lead, then sank a tricky 12-footer to birdie the first playoff hole even as Kochhar fired a magnificent approach for a tap-in birdie there.

Kochhar, who began the day in sixth place and three off the lead, found the bunker with his drive on the second playoff hole but got himself out of trouble with a fabulous third shot that left him a one-footer for par. Anirban missed his six-footer for birdie on this occasion.

With both players in a deadlock and light fading, it was decided to extend the match to Monday, a first in PGTI history.

Among the prominent names, SSP Chawrasia (69) and PGTI Order of Merit leader Udayan Mane (74) were both tied 13th at four-under 284, Jyoti Randhawa (71) was tied 29th at two-over 290 and Gaganjeet Bhullar (73) was tied 33rd at three-over 291.

NNN

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