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Rose wins Skins title
November 14, 2004 22:16 IST
World No. 1 Vijay Singh of Fiji was pushed to third spot as Englishman Justine Rose made the most of opportunities to lift the second BILTS Skins Golf championship in Gurgaon on Sunday.
The 24-year-old Rose, playing in his first ever Skins event, was in terrific form as he won seven of the 18 holes to pocket US $42,500.
Singh, the defending champion, managed to win only three holes and had to be content with the third spot, behind Swede Daniel Chopra, who won US $35,000. The Fijian took home US $22,000.
The fourth player in the fray, Todd Hamilton of the United States, turned out to be a big disappointment as he failed to win a single hole after some erratic putting.
Rose was elated with his effort and said the victory is an an icing on the cake after the fun he had in India.
"I just made the most of what came my way. I got into a rhythm and hope I can do this week in and week out on the tour," he said.
The Englishman, currently ranked 69th in the world with four top ten finishes in the PGA tour this year, said his dream is to win the US Masters title at least once.
"I will be a sad man without a green jacket. That is what we all play for and work hard for."
Singh praised Rose for his brilliant display at the DLF Golf and Country Course and said the Brit deserved to win.
"Justin played very well and deserved to win today."
The 41-year-old said the Skins format, where the players go for a more aggressive style, is entertaining. It also provides more excitement to spectators, he added.
"Skins is entertaining. It is just like one-day cricket. We can be very aggressive and take shots we will never opt for in regular events.
He, however, ruled out that Skins may kill the four-day format and said that it should only be seen as entertainment.
Under the skins format, every hole offers prize-money which goes on increasing. The person who wins the hole outright takes the prize but if there is a tie then the prize is clubbed to the next hole.
Chopra did not have a great start but found his rhythm towards the latter stages and his victory on the penultimate hole helped him seal the second spot behind Rose.
The Swedish player, who spent his formative days in India, said he would have been overawed with the prospect of playing such big names but his first year at the USPGA helped him to get over his nerves.
British Open champion Hamilton, who had a very dismal day in office, blamed his erratic putting.
"I am normally a better than average putter. But today I was out of sorts and in golf, putting is everything no matter what you have done before."
Hamilton, who earlier played in India in 1992, said he was excited to see such a big crowd to watch the event.
"The number of spectators were more than what I saw in total during the two tournaments I played here a decade back," he said.