Champion's Interview: Shamim Khan at the PGTI's Kolkata Classic 2017
Shamim Khan lifted the trophy at the Kolkata Classic after a determined and conscious effort throughout the week to break his deadlock of no wins at the Royal Calcuttta Golf Club. Shamim won the tournament for his 13th PGTI title with a score of 10 under par and took home a pay cheque of Rs 6 lakhs.
Shamim started the final round with a birdie on the first to extend his lead at the top but despite bogeys on the sixth and seventh holes, he held steady to ward off any challenges. Mukesh Kumar made four bogeys on the bounce and five in seven holes which lead to his eventual downfall as a contender at the event.
It was smooth sailing from there on for Shamim as he came down the stretch knowing that the job was done barring any silly mistakes from him. The Delhi Golf Club golfer continued his fine run with birdies on 12th and 15th holes before a bogey on 17 was just an inconsequential dropped shot as he was well on his way to the title by then.
He executed his plan of playing simple golf excellently and succeeded in turning around his driving drastically as compared to the first three rounds.
Shamim, who has finished 2nd, 4th, 5th and now on the top of the podium in his first four events of the 2017 PGTI season, had this to say on his remarkable five shot win, “I performed well today and I'm really happy with the win. My driving had been a worry all week but I kept a control over my score with my chipping and putting.
“I started well but after those two bogeys, my aim was to keep the ball in the fairways, hit maximum greens and mimimize any errors that might creep in. I stuck to that plan well and kept plodding along nicely. A few shotd did go astray into the rough and such but I recovered ok and when Mukesh made those four bogeys on the trot, I benefited a lot from that despite my two bogeys.
“After a win, you feel confident more than ever about performing well in the leader group on Sunday. It's also satisfying to know that I have a win for the season under my belt and some other good performances to go with that.
“I've been performing well this season as well as my performances at RCGC have been good in the peast few years. However, for some reason I have never had that elusive victory here before today and even this season, I had a few close second place and third place finishes, so I pin pointed this week as a good opportunity to get that first win here and I'm happy with my overall performance.
“I saw a big improvement in my driving early on today and I hit a lot of drives where I wanted to. There were a few that got away from me but I was able to make a good recovery on those and didn't have to dig deep. Driving is a huge function of confidence for me.
“A new tournament is taking place in Bangladesh after a long time next week and the course will be new for everyone. So I hope to continue my good run and keep playing the way I am.”
Reigning Indian Open champion and pre-tournament favourite SSP Chawrasia of Kolkata finished runner-up at five-under-283 after a final round of two-under-70.
Kolkata’s Shankar Das (72) claimed third place at four-under-284.