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Rediff.com  » Sports » Shamim Khan wins BILT Open golf in playoff

Shamim Khan wins BILT Open golf in playoff

October 13, 2012 20:40 IST

Shamim Khan clinched the BILT Open title on Saturday after edging Rashid Khan in an enthralling play-off at the Delhi Golf course.

The 34-year-old Shamim staved off a fierce challenge from Rashid, who almost turned the tables on the overnight leader after finishing with a four-day total of 14-under 274 in regulation, courtesy a final round of two-under 70.

Shamim (64-72-64-74), who had a four-stroke lead going into the final round, carded two-over 74 but still had enjoyed a one-stoke lead till the 17th hole.

However, Rashid knocked down a birdie at the 18th hole to push the contest into the play-off.     The match was decided in the second play off after the first one also ended on an even-knell.

Just like the rest of the tournament, the playoff also turned into a see-saw battle filled with many anxious moments.

In the first play off, Rashid found the bushes on the right but resurrected his campaign with a brilliant 20-feet birdie putt. Shamim, too, birdied the 18th hole as they moved into the second playoff.

In the second play off, Shamim rode on his experience to pick up an eight feet birdie putt after Rashid missed a 10-footer for birdie.

This is Shamim's eighth professional win overall and third this season. He is now richer by Rs 16,16,500.

"My hitting saved the day for me. I had a poor start but I kept hitting it straight after that. Rashid made a good comeback towards the end of the round but my experience saw me through in the playoff," said Shamim, who also jumped to No 1 one from the third position on the 2012 Rolex Rankings.

"There was no pressure on me after Rashid missed his birdie on the second playoff hole. I then focused on my line before converting my eight feet putt for victory. Importantly, it was a left to right putt, which has been a problem area for me in recent months.

"This is my biggest win in terms of prize money earned and also my first win in a strokeplay event at the DGC. I have finally broken the barrier of winning in a playoff after three unsuccessful attempts in the past. It's great to be back on top of the Rolex Rankings," said Shamim, who won his first playoff out of four previous attempts.

Earlier in the day, Shamim had a wobbly start as he double-bogeyed on the third and bogeyed the fourth, mainly because of a poor tee shot.

However, he recovered with birdies on the eighth and 15th holes. But he dropped a stroke at the 16th to sign off with a two-over 74.

Rashid Khan (65-66-73-70), who was leading the clubhouse after the second round, had four birdies and two bogeys in his final day round. He is placed second on the Rolex Rankings.

"I recovered very well from some tough situations today. I took the tough decision of pulling out the driver on the 18th hole. That helped me take the match to a playoff. However, I could not take my chances in the playoff."

Manav Jaini (69-71-68-71), finished third at nine-under-279, while Mithun Perera of Sri Lanka and Abhinav Lohan were a further stroke back in tied at fourth place.

Former Asian Tour number one Jyoti Randhawa grabbed a share of ninth position at four-under-284.

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