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Udayan wins four-way playoff to grab Golconda Masters title

25 Feb 2018, 18:54 IST
16

Hyderabad, Feb 25 (PTI) Udayan Mane pipped close rivals in a four-way Play-off to grab the Golconda Masters, his sixth professional trophy, here today.

Mane outplayed Delhis Shamim Khan, Chandigarhs Abhijit Singh Chadha and Sri Lankan N Thangaraja in the playoff after the quartet had ended the regulation 72 holes with identical totals of 14-under-270.

Mane (67-66-69-68), lying one off the lead in tied second at the start of round four, was even-par for the day through seven holes after an early birdie and bogey. But he began his title charge with birdies on the eighth, 10th and 11th.

He came up with an unbelievable recovery on the 10th as his approach from a different fairway landed within 20 feet of the pin for eagle. He made two putts to pick up a birdie there. A long conversion followed on the next hole.

Manes three-putt bogey on the 16th almost dashed his title hopes. But he came roaring back with his best drive of the day on the 17th that set up another birdie for him. Mane, who was second on the 2017 PGTI Order of Merit, finally came home the champion after his immaculate ball-striking on the playoff hole left him a three foot birdie putt for victory. The trio of N Thangaraja, Shamim Khan and Abhijit Singh Chadha had to make longer birdie conversions but missed out.

At the start of the round I said three words to myself focus, patience and determination. I did have some frustrating moments today but I handled them well. The exceptional approach on the 10th really got my round going and the terrific drive on the 17th helped me get back into the joint lead. These were some key moments," Mane said.

On the playoff hole, I felt I was quite relaxed while hitting my shots even though my heart was racing between the shots. I hit a fantastic drive and an even better second shot. The winning putt was a relatively easy one but the situation made it seem a little tough. I just told myself to imagine its not a playoff and just putt like I would in any other situation.

Mane, who took home a cheque worth Rs. 4,50,000 has now climbed from 39th place to third position in the 2018 PGTI Order of Merit.

Joint runners-up Shamim Khan (67-68-68-67), Abhijit Singh Chadha (70-65-68-67) and N Thangaraja (65-69-68-68) were all in with a chance towards the latter stages of the day. However, during the playoff Shamim and Abhijit missed their birdie putts from a range of 15 to 17 feet while Thangaraja hit it over the green and missed the chip for birdie.

Round three leader Mukesh Kumar of Mhow shot a final round of 74 to finish tied eighth at nine-under-275

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