Pune, 23 Apr 2017

Anura Rohana springs a surprise with a scorching 65, wins first title in over two years

Khalin Joshi, Angad Cheema claim tied second place

Sri Lankan Anura Rohana sprung a surprise on the final day of the Pune Open 2017 by setting the Poona Club Golf Course on fire with a scorching six-under-65. The fabulous effort by the seasoned campaigner fetched him his first title in two and a half years as he closed the tournament with a total of 10-under-274.
The second place was shared between Bengaluru’s Khalin Joshi (66) and Panchkula’s Angad Cheema (69) at eight-under-276 at the Rs. 30 lakh event.

Anura Rohana (71-68-70-65), lying tied seventh and three off the lead after the penultimate round, had a vision at the start of the final round that he would shoot a 65. As it turned out, his vision came true earning him his fourth title on the PGTI.

The 43-year-old Colombo resident’s day didn’t begin as per plan as he dropped a shot on the opening hole. What followed was a brilliant display of Anura’s all-round skills as he accumulated four birdies on the front-nine including two from 10 to 15 feet. 

Rohana, who hails from the Royal Colombo Golf Club, started turning the tables on the others with a brilliant tap-in birdie on the 11th where he made an astounding recovery with his approach after a poor tee shot. Anura, the runner-up last week in Kochi, then chipped-in from 60 yards for eagle on the 15th to take the sole lead.

A bogey on the 16th didn’t deter Rohana as he notched a final birdie on the 18th to come home the winner by two strokes. Anura thus bagged the winning cheque worth Rs. 4,50,000 and moved up from eighth to fourth in the PGTI Order of Merit.

Rohana said, “I’m delighted to win after a long gap of two and a half years as my last win came in October 2014. I had been playing well of late with top-5 finishes in my last two events on the PGTI. I had my chance in Kochi last week but was unfortunate to finish second. The new putter that I started using from the Indian Open onwards last month has had a huge impact on my game. My putting is much better than last season. I’m also playing with less pressure now as I finally have a sponsor.

“This morning, I somehow thought of the number 65 as the combination for locking my suitcase. At that moment, I told myself that this might just be the number I end up shooting today. That’s exactly what happened. 

“I started believing I could win, when after a duff tee shot on the 11th, I landed my approach within three feet and made birdie there. That was the turning point for me. Then of course the eagle on the 15th set up the finish for me.

“Incidentally, I qualified for the Indian tour for the first time in 2002 after playing the Qualifying School at the Poona Club Golf Course. So it’s special to win an event here.”

Khalin Joshi (68-70-72-66) produced an impressive 66, punctuated by six birdies and a bogey, on the final day, to rise from overnight tied 12th to joint second. His tied second finish ended up lifting him from third to second position in the PGTI Order of Merit.

Angad Cheema (69-68-70-69) hung on to his overnight joint second place as a result of his fourth round of 69. Cheema, playing in the leader group, was the only challenger to Rohana in the closing stages as he trailed him by just one shot at one point. However, playing at two-under through 12 holes, he could only manage pars on the last six holes that put paid to his chances.

Bengaluru’s Udayan Mane (65) shot the day’s joint best score along with champion Anura to end up in tied fourth at seven-under-277 along with rookies Viraj Madappa (68) of Kolkata and Damian Naicker (70) of South Africa.
Madappa now leads the Emerging Player of the Year race with earnings of Rs. 1,92,085.
Delhi’s Shamim Khan continued to lead the Order of Merit after posting a tied eighth finish with a total of four-under-280. As the season breaks for the summer after seven events, Shamim leads the money list with earnings of Rs. 16,01,850. Khalin Joshi is second with earnings Rs. 12,79,331.

Round three leader Mukesh Kumar of Mhow had a forgettable final round of 75 in Pune that saw him drop to tied 11th at three-under-281 at the end of the week.

Last year’s champion Harendra Gupta (71) of Chandigarh also took a share of 11th place.

Pune-based professionals Saurabh Bhaduri and Sameer M Shaikh finished tied 42nd at eight-over-292.

Mumbai’s Anil Bajrang Mane finished tied 52nd at 12-over-296.

Other News

About PGTI:

Formed in 2006, Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) is the recognised official body of professional golf in India. PGTI's objective is to promote professional golf in the country, as well as to give players an opportunity to be involved in the decision making on all aspects of the game. Headed by Mr. Gautam Thapar (President), PGTI's governing body comprises leading Indian golf professionals. PGTI currently has over 300 members.

For information on PGTI, please contact:

Nikhil Kalaan
Deputy Manager - Media, PGTI
Mobile: 9910974846