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Pune, 28 Jun 2013

Lahiri eclipses Shamim in playoff to win title

 
Anirban Lahiri of Bengaluru gave himself a great birthday present one day before his 26th birthday when he eclipsed Shamim Khan of Delhi in a playoff to win the PGTI Players Championship being played at the Oxford Golf & Country Club in Pune. The two players headed for a playoff after being tied at the top of the leaderboard with total scores of 10-under-278 at the end of the regulation 72 holes. Anirban finally won after making birdie on the playoff hole even as Shamim made par.

Anirban Lahiri (70-68-71-69), who was overnight fourth and three strokes off the lead, fired five birdies against two bogeys in his final round of 69. He began the day on a positive note by driving the green on the par-4 second hole and subsequently earning a birdie there. The three-time winner on the Asian Tour then found the green in two shots on the par-5 fourth hole to pick up another birdie. Lahiri went through a rough patch on the fifth and sixth where a couple of erratic approach shots by him resulted in bogeys.

Anirban got back into his groove with a birdie on the ninth. He had a poor tee shot on the 13th but recovered well with a great second shot and a 15-feet birdie putt to gain further momentum. Lahiri drew level with Shamim for the lead after he chipped it within a foot to set up a birdie on the 15th. 

Lahiri finally prevailed on the first playoff hole (ninth hole) as Shamim struggled to recover after landing his tee shot in the rough. Anirban found the fairway with his tee shot and then landed his third shot within a foot of the pin to bag a birdie on the par-5 hole. The Bengaluru-based golfer thus lifted his 11th professional title which also happened to be his eighth on the PGTI.

“I’m delighted to win on the PGTI after a long gap of over two years. I enjoy playing at the Oxford Golf & Country Club as I have now won two titles here. The course layout suits my style of play. The birdie after getting out of trouble on the 13th gave me some momentum. My putting was very poor today and I missed a lot of birdie putts especially on the last three holes. I got a little lucky today as I would’ve needed at least two or three more birdies to win on any other day. I knew I was in with a terrific chance after Shamim found the rough with his tee shot during the playoff,” said Lahiri, who finished runner-up at an Asian Tour event last week.

Shamim Khan (71-67-68-72), the overnight leader, made four birdies, two bogeys and a double-bogey in his final round of 72. Shamim’s second shot on the fifth found thick grass and led to a double-bogey. He was unlucky on the seventh where he drove it well but the ball got stuck in a stone resulting in a bogey. The bright spot in his round was a 25-feet birdie conversion on the 14th.
 
Sri Lanka’s Mithun Perera finished in third place at eight-under-280.

The Kolkata duo of Shankar Das and Rahil Gangjee as well as Faridabad’s Abhinav Lohan and Himmat Singh Rai of the DLF Golf & Country Club were in tied fourth place at seven-under-281.

Moinuddin Malak with a total score of seven-over-295, was the highest-placed Pune golfer in tied 37th place.


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.

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Nikhil Kalaan
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