India Sports
Ashok Kumar wins Crompton Greaves Open golf
May 6, 2007 - 6:04:07 PM

Mumbai, May 6 - Ashok Kumar carded a final round four-under-par, 66, en route to a new tournament record to win the inaugural Rs.7 million Crompton Greaves Open at the Bombay Presidency Golf Club here Sunday.

Ashok carded his fourth victory this season and took home the winner's cheque of Rs.1.13 million. He is currently the highest earner on the Professional Golf Tour of India's - Order of Merit with total earnings of over Rs.3.85 million so far this season.

He started the day aggressively given his eight-stroke lead going into the final round but missed a two-footer for birdie on the first, but a birdie on the fourth saw him get nine-under for the day.

Ashok dropped a stroke on the fifth where he three-putted from 12-feet, but birdies on the sixth and seventh holes resulted in a two-under-par, 33 for his front nine.

Back-to-back birdies on the 11th, 12th and 13th holes took him to 20-under-par, for the tournament but a bogey on the par-four 14th after his second shot hit the tree, followed by pars on the last four holes were good enough to give him his fourth win this season with a record tournament total of 19-under-par, 261, for the Bombay Presidency Golf Club.

'I just played my own game. I always think of winning when I tee it up at the beginning of a tournament and am now looking forward to next week,' said Ashok.

Second placed Gaganjeet Bhullar played some brilliant golf but failed to give Ashok much of a competition, given the eight-stroke gap between the two professionals.

Bhullar birdied the first despite of a poor drive off the tee and holed long putts for birdies on the third, fourth, fifth and sixth holes to make a charge for the title.

However, a bogey on the par-three eighth hole, where he hit his six-iron over the green and failed to make chip and putt for par, disrupted his charge and left him four-under-par for the day after nine holes.

Bhullar then picked up birdies on the 11th, 12th and 15th holes, but a double bogey on the par-five 16th hole where he got disturbed by the galleries and a bogey on the par-three 17th after he left his five-iron off the tee short of the green saw him drop three strokes.

The 19-year-old then gallantly birdied the last to shoot a five-under-par, 65 and seal the second place, earning his highest pay check as a professional, for Rs.784,000.

'I putted well today and after the sixth hole I actually thought I could close the gap and catch up with Ashok. The experience this week has been very helpful and my confidence is high for next week,' said Bhullar.

Shamim Khan carded a one-under-par, 69 to finish third at six-under-par, 274, while Uttam Singh Mundy and Vijay Kumar finished joint fourth at three-under-par, 277.

Meanwhile, Vijay Kumar was happy with his round, which he started with an eagle on the very first hole, en route to carding a 67.

Scores: 261 Ashok Kumar -; 268 Gaganjeet Bhullar -; 274 Shamim Khan -; 277 Uttam Singh Mundy -, Vijay Kumar -; 280 Mohammed Islam -; 281 B.G. Lalith Kumara -, Digvijay Singh -, Arjun Singh -, S.K. Ahmed Ali -, Harmeet Kahlon -

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