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Ashok Kumar wins SRF Shoot-out
April 24, 2005 18:20 IST
Ashok Kumar, at his aggressive best, began with an eagle and ended with a splurge of birdies to triumph at the inaugural Rs 1.2 lakh 'SRF Ten Man Shoot-Out' at the par-72 Delhi Golf Club on Sunday.
Ashok, who beat Gurbaaz Mann, pocketed the winner's cheque of Rs 50,000 for his victory.
Gurbaaz, who along with Ashok held his own for eight holes as the rest of the field fell by one by one, failed to sink a 25 footer for birdie which would have subsequently taken Ashok into a play-off.
As the runner-up he had to be satisfied with a purse of Rs 25,000. Amritinder Singh finished third to earn Rs 15,000.
The 'SRF Ten Man Shoot-Out' was a curtain raiser to the SRF All-India Matchplay Championship, which commences at the same venue on Tuesday, 26th April.
The tournament will conclude in a 36-hole final on Sunday, 1st May.
The final hole at the 'Shoot-Out' had everybody watching with bated breath as Ashok first let loose his tee shot on the par-4 ninth hole. His driver off the tee-box undesirably flew to the right, struck a tree and nestled onto the fifth tee-box.
Meanwhile, Gurbaaz's driver flew directly towards the left jungle, but luckily struck a tree and got back on the fairway. The Chandigarh pro fired an accurate five-iron there-from to settle 25 feet away from the pin.
Ashok, under pressure to match if not better Gurbaaz's feat, managed to get to 20-feet left of the pin with a pitching wedge. Gurbaaz, putted first but missed the cup by a whisker. Ashok, however, went for gold and a found his target.
I played aggressive golf all day," said the 23-year old local star. "There were a host of good players playing and attacking was the only thing that would have kept me in the race," said Ashok, who started the day with a superb eagle set-up by a driver - four-iron combination.
Ashok's last three holes handed him three birdies and just for the record, he played to five-under without erring even once in nine holes.
Gurbaaz meanwhile, fought hard and well, surviving among other things, a chipping play-off against the master of the short game Shiv Shankar Prasad Chowrasia.
However, Ashok proved to be too good for him.
Ashok played brilliantly. He deserved to win," said the 22-year old Gurbaaz.
The opening hole witnessed an interesting play-off between Gaurav Ghei and Mukesh Kumar both of whom, tied at the lowest score, with bogeys. Mukesh chipped to three feet from a selected spot beyond the right green-side bunker to better Gaurav's effort by a few feet and triumph.
Hole two saw Mann and Chowrasia clash in a bunker play-off, where the former won with a brilliant two feet effort from the sand. Uttam Mundy was the casualty on the third hole beaten by Amritinder Singh in a chipping dual from the green-side cart path, while Arjun Singh found the left jungle and subsequently the green-side bunker to drop out on the fourth. Shiv Kapur, lost a five-way putting play-off on the fifth after all golfers tied with pars on that hole.
Hole six proved to be the nemesis of Mukesh Kumar, who after tying with Digvijay, Amritinder and Gurbaaz, sent his play-off chip from the green-side rough way past the pin. Digvijay fell by the way-side in hole seven with Amritinder and Gurbaaz bettering his effort off the rough behind the right bunker. Finally, Amritinder could manage only a par in comparison to Ashok and Gurbaaz's birdies to ease out on the eighth.
The 'Shoot-Out' involved a process of elimination, with the participant with the highest score on any given hole being eliminated immediately. In case of a tie, the Championship Committee at their discretion picked either one of a 'Closest to the Pin from 60 yards', 'Closest to the Pin from the Green-side Bunker' or a 'Monster Putt' contests between the tied golfers to decide who progressed to the following hole.