Chandigarh’s Akshay Sharma pulled off a career-best seven-under-65 to post his breakthrough QA InfoTech Open title win with a huge six-shot margin at the Noida Golf Course on Friday.
The 28-year-old Akshay, who turned professional in 2011, shot scores of 73, 70, 69 and 65 to end the Rs. 50 lakh event with a total score of 11-under-277.
The title win fetched Akshay a cheque of Rs. 8,08,250. He has now moved from 26th place to fifth position in the PGTI Order of Merit
His error-free fourth round of 65 was also the best round of the tournament.
Sri Lankan Mithun Perera (69-71-73-70) finished a distant second at five-under-283.
Akshay began the day in second place, trailing leader Angad Cheema by two shots. He soon emerged as the top contender making a dream start with birdies on the first three holes even as his nearest rivals Angad Cheema and Mithun Perera stumbled with bogeys.
He sank a 10-footer on the second and followed that up with a terrific tee shot on the par-3 third that landed three feet from the pin.
Sharma continued the fireworks on the front-nine, adding birdies on the sixth and seventh by landing his wedge shots within two feet of the flag on both holes. He played some solid golf on the back-nine by sinking two long birdie putts on the 13th and 17th and making seven pars to come home the champion.
Akshay said, “I’m overjoyed. I’ve waited for my first PGTI win for almost eight years. All aspects of my game clicked today as I produced my career-best score. It couldn’t have come at a better time.
“My game picked up in the last two seasons thanks to Jeev Milkha Singh. I started playing rounds with Jeev Sir in Chandigarh about two years back in order to improve my game," he said.
Mithun Perera had a late surge of four birdies on the last five holes that saw him sign off with a 70 to finish runner-up. Delhi’s Arjun Prasad (71) claimed third place at four-under-284.
Angad Cheema, the round three leader, carded a last round of 77 to finish tied 11th at one-under-287. Noida’s Gaurav Pratap Singh performed the best among the local golfers as he secured tied 18th place at one-over-289.
Veteran Jeev Milkha Singh finished tied 45th place at eight-over-296. He posted a 78 in the final round.
(Our News Desk can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)