Golf: Manu Gandas fires 66 in last round to win Vooty Masters by four shots
Vikarabad (Telangana), November 28, 2022
Manu Gandas fired six-under 66 in last round to seal a commanding four-shot win at the inaugural Rs 1-crore Vooty Masters here on Sunday.
Manu took home the winning cheque worth Rs. 15,00,000 to consolidate himself in second position in the Tata Steel PGTI Ranking as his prize money earnings for the season moved to Rs. 65,78,938.
Om Prakash Chouhan (66-63-73-66) of Mhow finished runner-up at 20-under 268 following his last round of 66. Delhi’s Shamim Khan shot a fine 64 on Sunday to secure third place at 16-under 272
Gurugram based Manu (63-68-67-66), the overnight leader by one shot, totaled 24-under 264 for the week to register his fifth win this year and thus match the PGTI record for most wins in a season, a record previously jointly held by Yuvraj Sandhu (2022), Gaganjeet Bhullar (2009) and Ashok Kumar (2006-07).
In the process, Gandas also equaled the PGTI record for the lowest winning total (24-under 264) set earlier by Anirban Lahiri, Rashid Khan and Akshay Sharma.
Chandigarh’s Sandhu continues to lead the PGTI Order of Merit thanks to his sensational last-round effort of nine-under 63 which matched the course record set previously in the week by Manu Gandas and Om Prakash Chouhan. Yuvraj gained 25 spots to finish fourth at 14-under 274 which took his season’s earnings to Rs. 67,39,568.
The 26-year-old Gandas, who set the course record of 63 on day one, had a mixed start to round four with birdie-bogey on the first two holes. But he began to find his groove with birdies on the third and fifth where a terrific approach shot and a brilliant chip left him tap-in putts. He then sank birdie putts from a range of seven to 10 feet on the eighth and ninth to lead by five shots at the turn over nearest rival Om Prakash Chouhan.
Gandas, who has six career titles on the PGTI, then hit a poor approach and missed a short putt on the 10th to drop a double-bogey. Just as Om Prakash Chouhan got within two shots of Gandas, the latter resurrected his round with birdies on the 14th and 15th thanks to his sharp chipping and putting. He finally saw it home in style with birdies on the last two holes including a 45-feet conversion on the 18th.
“I took it one shot at a time and stayed in the present. I had a bad start on the back-nine but was steady thereafter and set up a lot of birdie opportunities for myself. Overall, it was a solid round barring a couple of mistakes. I kept the intensity going after I got my first birdie on the back-nine. I’m quite pleased with the records added to my name but my focus is more on taking my game to the next level. This win gives me the momentum for the final two events of the season," Gandas said.
Om Prakash Chouhan made six birdies on a day he went error-free. He was briefly in contention on the back-nine when he got within two shots of the lead. Shamim Khan made nine birdies and a bogey during his outstanding 64.
Yuvraj ’s extraordinary 63 featured an eagle on the 16th, eight birdies and a bogey.
The Chandigarh duo of Abhijit Singh Chadha (65) and Angad Cheema (76) claimed tied fifth place at 13-under 275.
Chandigarh’s Ajeetesh Sandhu finished tied 34th at three-under 285.
Fifteen-year-old Noida-based amateur Aarav D Shah, an Australian national, took the trophy for the best performing amateur after he too ended the week in tied 34th place.