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Mukesh wins Eastern Open
January 14, 2005 19:08 IST
Mukesh Kumar provided no respite for the rest of the field as he marched to a four-stroke victory in the Eastern Open, his third title on the Amby Valley PGAI Tour's 2004-05 season and his first at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club on Friday.
With the victory Mukesh regained the top spot on the Amby Valley PGAI Tour's Order of Merit, the spot he occupied for the first three event weeks of the season before Ashok claimed it at the Hero Honda Open South in Bangalore in September last year.
Mukesh's earnings for the season touched Rs. 10,09,710 in eleven events and is now Rs. 50,846 clear of Ashok.
Finishing in second place, four shots behind was the RCGC Open champion, Vijay Kumar who was looking to repeat last week's final round comeback where he piped Shiv Kapur at the post on the sixth play-off hole.
Vijay shot a fine 2-under 70 with identical scores on both nines for a three round aggregate of 3-under 213 for sole second place and the cheque of Rs. 1,12,000.
At six under par and a three-shot lead over Rafiq Ali going into the final round today, Mukesh seemed to know just one way to defend that lead – attack.
He birdied the par-3 second after a fine tee shot that left him a three-foot uphill put. When Rafiq bogeyed the third, Mukesh's lead was five shots as the leader group stood on the par-5 fourth, which has seen more birdies than any other hole over the last two weeks.
Both players added to the birdies on the fourth and the lead remained undisturbed. Rafiq birdied the next two holes to cut Mukesh's lead to where they started, three shots. Rafiq's bogey on the seventh and double bogey on the ninth cost him dear. The only consolation was Mukesh's bogey on the ninth.
Both players went into the back nine five strokes apart with Mukesh looking supremely confident. Mukesh added yet another birdie to the basket on the tenth before a fat tee shot left his ball in the water hazard before the green resulting in a bogey and an even par 36 on the back nine was enough to give Mukesh his first career title at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club and his third this season on the Amby Valley PGAI Tour for the winner's cheque of Rs. 1,62,000.
"My golf game has been really good last coupe of weeks in Kolkata and its good to see my name at the top of the Amby Valley PGAI Tour order of merit once again as the Eastern Swing draws to a close. But there is a lot of golf still to be played this season and complacency can definitely not set it", said our champion who will be playing one last round at the Pro-Am tomorrow be! fore packing his bags.
The players will enjoy a well-deserved three-week break before the Amby Valley PGAI Tour moves West for the Hero Honda Open at the Poona Club Golf Course, Pune in March.
Gaurav Ghosh bags amateur title: The amateur title for the Eastern India Open went to Gaurav Ghosh who, despite a closing round of 81, managed to cling onto his overnight lead of four strokes over nearest threat Karan Singh who finished two shots behind in second place.
Final round Scores: 209 Mukesh Kumar (70, 68, 71); 213 Vijay Kumar (74, 69, 70); 214 Sanjay Kumar (72, 70, 72), Rafiq Ali (69, 72, 73); 217 Gaurav Ghei (69, 75, 73); 218 Shiv Prakash (72, 71, 75), Randhir Ghotra (69, 74, 75); 219 SSP Chaurasia (74, 75, 70); 220 Ranjit Singh (75, 74, 71), Raju Ali (69, 78, 73).
Amateurs: 245 Gaurav Ghosh (78, 86, 81); 247 Karan Singh (89, 79, 79); 259 Surya Prakash (84, 88, 87)