Panchkula, November 7
Chandigarh’s Akshay Sharma registered a resounding five-shot victory with a final round of 5-under 67 at the TATA Steel PGTI Players Championship 2020 here on Saturday.
The 30-year-old captured his second title in style with a tally of 24-under 264, which also equalled the record for the lowest winning total on the PGTI, previously jointly held by Anirban Lahiri and Rashid Khan.
Karandeep Kochhar, also hailing from Chandigarh, carded an error-free 67 to maintain his overnight second position. He totalled 19-under 269 at the Rs 30-lakh event, the first tournament to be staged on the PGTI in eight months.
Pune-based Udayan Mane shot the day’s joint best round of 66 to claim tied third place at 14-under 274 along with Bengaluru’s Chikkarangappa (69).
Udayan thus extended his lead in the PGTI Order of Merit and is set to move up in the world rankings from his current 290th position.
Yuvraj Singh Sandhu, another Chandigarh golfer, finished fifth at 11-under 277 after he carded a last round of 67.
Akshay (64-66-67-67), the overnight leader by a massive five shots, got off to a terrific start with an eagle on the 3rd where he holed his second shot from 75 yards.
A bogey followed for him on the 4th but he quickly negated that with birdies on the 5th and 6th where he landed his shots inside two feet of the flag.
Akshay, leading by five at the turn, was unrelenting on the back-nine too as he picked up three more birdies till the 16th, including one on the par-4 11th where he drove the green.
He finally bogeyed the last hole and missed out on setting a new record for the lowest winning total on the PGTI. Interestingly, Akshay dropped just two bogeys and one double-bogey during the week.
Akshay, who won his first professional trophy at the QA InfoTech Open in Noida in 2018, took home the winner’s cheque worth Rs 4,84,950 and as a result climbed from 29th to fourth place on the PGTI Order of Merit.
“I was quite relaxed from the very outset today. I knew that I just had to make regulations to stay ahead. Then the eagle on the third made things easier for me,” said an elated Akshay.
“Importantly, I had worked on my weakness, my temperament, during the three-month lockdown period when the courses were closed. That seems to be paying off because today I played with a very cool mind and didn’t feel much pressure.”
Among others, Gurugram’s Veer Ahlawat fired the day’s joint best 66 to secure tied 6th place at 10-under 278 along with Kolkata’s Viraj Madappa (71).
Chandigarh’s Amrit Lal (68) was eighth at 9-under 279 while Patna’s Aman Raj (67) was a further shot back in ninth.
Delhi’s Rashid Khan (74) finished tied 25th place at 1-under 287. PTI