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Dhaka, Bangladesh, 02 Mar 2017

Udayan Mane coasts to comfortable four-shot win at bti Open 2017; First Indian to win in Bangladesh in six years

Moves up to third in Order of Merit

Udayan Mane of Bengaluru coasted to a comfortable four-shot win at the bti Open 2017 on Thursday. Mane returned an assured two-under-70 in the final round of the Rs. 40 lakh event to end up with a tournament total of 12-under-276.

Patna’s Aman Raj (69), Chandigarh’s Harendra Gupta (70) and Bengaluru’s Khalin Joshi (71) shared second place at eight-under-280 at the event played at Dhaka’s magnificent Kurmitola Golf Club (KGC).

Udayan Mane (70-67-69-70), the leader for the last two rounds, continued his domination for the third straight day with a steady round of 70 to become the first Indian to win the bti Open trophy as the inaugural edition in 2016 was won by Bangladesh’s Md Siddikur Rahman.

Interestingly, with his triumph at the bti Open, Mane also became the first Indian to win a professional event in Bangladesh in six years. Gaganjeet Bhullar was the last Indian to achieve the feat with his victory at the PGTI’s Bangladesh Open in January 2011.
 
The 26-year-old Mane took home the winner’s cheque worth Rs. 6 lakh and thus took a flight from 26th place to third position in the 2017 PGTI Order of Merit.

Mane, ahead by two at the start of the final round, had an early break when he birdied the opening hole. The golfer, who plays at Eagleton – The Golf Resort near Bengaluru, continued his grip over the match with pars on the next 11 holes even as his nearest rivals struggled to catch up with him.

Udayan, who won two titles in his rookie season in 2015, further consolidated with birdies on the 13th and 14th. The bogey on the 17th didn’t cause much trouble as he marched to his third title with considerable ease thus ending a 16-month victory drought.

Mane said, “This win is a special one as it’s a testament to all the hard work I’ve put in recently. Towards the end of last season I began changing my approach to the game and the way I practiced. It was a systematic approach to try to get better. 

“I struck the ball well this week and chipped really well. I made some important up and downs for birdies and pars. The putting was also quite consistent.

“I had a good start today and never really lost control of the situation. There were some crucial moments in the middle of the round where I came up with some good shots. I was in some trouble on the 10th but a lovely chip to within two feet of the pin helped me save par.

“It’s great to be back in the winning zone after missing out on a title last season.”

Aman Raj climbed from overnight tied fifth to tied second after a final round of 69 that saw him drain a number of long putts.

Aman said, “I had struggled in round two but the 67 in the third round set up a good finish for me. A top-10 at Noida and a runner-up finish here have given me a good start to the year.”

Harendra Gupta gained two places from his overnight fourth while Khalin Joshi moved up one spot from third as both players joined Aman Raj as joint runners-up. Joshi also made significant gains in the Order of Merit climbing from fourth to second place.

Chandigarh’s Ajeetesh Sandhu carded the day’s joint best score of 67 to finish tied fifth at seven-under-281 along with Delhi’s Shamim Khan (70). Sandhu thus held on to his lead in the Order of Merit.

Md Nazim (71) finished as the best placed Bangladeshi golfer in tied ninth at four-under-284.

Chandigarh’s Feroz Singh Garewal, who was overnight second, slipped to tied 20th at even-par-288 after his final round of 80.

Bangladesh’s Mohammad Rasel, the only amateur to make the cut, won the trophy for the best performance by an amateur. He closed the week in tied 29th at three-over-291.

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