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Udayan Mane wins Delhi-NCR Open Golf Championship
Gurugram, March 19, 2021
Pune’s Udayan Mane carded a 3-under 69 last round and with a total of 14-under 274 won the Delhi-NCR Open Golf Championship by two strokes at the Golden Greens Golf Club here on Friday.
The 30-year-old Mane clinched his 11th title on the PGTI and his third title of the 2020-21 season, which will help him make a big push up the world rankings from his current 320th position and as a result also boost his chances in the Tokyo Olympics qualification race.
Gurugram-based Shivendra Singh Sisodia, playing at his home course, secured a career-best tied second place at 12-under 276 after a sensational birdie-eagle finish on the last two holes helped the 31-year-old put up a score of 66.
Bengaluru’s Chikkarangappa (68) and Patna’s Aman Raj (69) also took a share of second place.
Chandigarh’s Karandeep Kochhar (67) claimed fifth place at 11-under 277 to maintain his lead in the PGTI Order of Merit.
Sandeep Singh of Sri Ganganagar, Rajasthan, shot the day’s best score of seven-under-65 to finish tied ninth at eight-under-280.
Udayan Mane (71-67-67-69), the overnight leader by one shot, had a hot start to the day with two birdies on the first three holes which saw him play a couple of good wedge shots. Udayan then made some good putts which didn’t roll in but he still hung on to his lead.
On the par-5 18th, Mane sank a crucial 10-feet birdie putt to seal the deal even as playing partner Aman Raj missed his eagle putt from the same distance.
The win is a shot in the arm for the big-built Udayan who will now earn five world ranking points and go past Rashid Khan (ranked 311 at the moment) to become the highest-ranked Indian when the latest Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) list is released on Monday.
Udayan had bagged the first two trophies of the 2020-21 PGTI season as part of his three match winning streak which began with the season-ending event of the previous 2019 season. However, he had not been at his best since the resumption of the tour in November last year. Mane won a prize money cheque worth Rs. 4,84,950 and thus continued in third place on the PGTI Order of Merit.
Mane said, “My game-plan today was to go bogey-free, put the ball on the fairway and the green and take my two-putt. I was focused on a hot start which I did get. My good putts didn’t roll in thereafter but I decided not to let the frustration creep in. Finally, I got the very crucial birdie on the 18th.
“I was well aware that I needed a par or better on the 18th that’s why I played a little conservatively. My tee shot was a long one so it made sense for me to go for the green instead of laying up. I went for it and made a great up and down for birdie.
“The win couldn’t have come at a better time for me as the race for qualification to the Olympics is quite intense at the moment with the likes of Gaganjeet, Rashid, Chikka, Karandeep and Aman Raj, all being strong contenders," he said.
Sisodia (71-71-68-66) was exceptional with his iron-play and approach shots. Overnight tied eighth and five off the lead, he hit three birdies over the first 12 holes before signing off in style with birdie-eagle on the last two holes.
Shivendra, who jumped from 75th to 46th in the PGTI Order of Merit, said, “My driving was outstanding through the week as I landed it over 350 yards on about 10 occasions during the tournament. Today I struck it over 300 yards at least four times. I checked my ball carry distance before the event and it was around 296 yards. That gave me a lot of confidence. I also enjoyed the advantage of playing in my home conditions especially while hitting it off the tee.
Chikkarangappa (70-65-73-68), the winner of the tournament’s previous edition, mixed six birdies with two bogeys for his 68 and got within a shot of the lead at one stage. His joint runner-up finish kept him in second position in the PGTI Order of Merit. He is also set to make decent progress in the world ranking from his current 352nd position.
Aman Raj (72-66-69-69) was also part of the three-way tie for second place. Aman shot a bogey-free 69 in round four. His last hole birdie lifted him to a tied second finish and as a result from eighth to fifth in the PGTI Order of Merit.
Noida’s Gaurav Pratap Singh, who was overnight second and one off the lead, ended the week in sixth at 10-under 278 after his final round of 72.
Delhi-based rookie Kartik Sharma (69) took tied seventh place along with Lucknow’s Sanjeev Kumar (69) at nine-under 279.
Delhi’s Rashid Khan (70) was tied 13th at six-under 282.