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Ashok Kumar regains place at the top

February 24, 2004 18:21 IST

`Rookie of the year' 2002-03 award winner Ashok Kumar lived up to his reputation as a promising golfer, regaining his place at the top of the Order of Merit List on the Hero Honda Indian Golf Tour for the 2003-04 season.

The 22-year-old takes the top slot after his remarkable victory in the Sir Padampat Singhania Open, the 14th leg of the Hero Honda Indian Golf Tour.

The DLF Golf and Country Club ambassador has amassed Rs 7,23,010 from 12 starts thus far.

Ashok who has nine top-10 finishes, had relinquished his place at the top after he skipped the previous event – the Air Canada Forest Hill Golf Open, owing to the Asian PGA Tour assignment. Back on home soil, he took off from where he started and with a blistering final round of eight-under 64 not only took the winner's cheque home but also climbed to top spot, displacing Vijay Kumar, who was away playing the Carlberg Malaysian Open, a joint-sanctioned event on the European and Asian PGA Tours.

Four times `Champion golfer of the year' Mukesh Kumar, who finished second to Ashok in the Singhania Open, follows his younger compatriot on the Money List too. The Mhow-based who has played 13 events thus far, trails Ashok by a mere Rs 20,000 and will be looking to restore his position.

SSP Chowrasia is in third position with total earnings of Rs 6,76,365 while Vijay Kumar occupies the fourth position with a total of Rs 6,33,628.

With only a few events remaining on the Tour, there is an even battle amongst the top four players while Digvijay Singh is distant fifth with season's earnings of Rs 5,73,606.

Arjun Singh, who has played only four events, winning two of them, is in sixth place with a total prize money of Rs 4,98,300.

The Tour has produced as many as 39 lakhpatis thus far.

Meanwhile, Sandeep Syal leads the race for `Rookie of the year' award. The 20-year-old lad from Chennai is in 27th position overall and has amassed Rs 1,59,528 from the 13 events that he has taken part.

Exciting rookie Gurbaaz Mann from Chandigarh, who also has ventured on the Asian PGA Tour this season, is second with a total of Rs 1,37,140.

The top 15 (after 14 events): 1-Ashok Kumar (Rs 7,23,010); 2-Mukesh Kumar (Rs 7,03,390); 3-SSP Chowrasia (Rs 6,76,365); 4-Vijay Kumar (Rs 6,33,628); 5-Digvijay Singh (Rs 5,73,606); 6-Arjun Singh (Rs 4,98,300); 7-Yusuf Ali (Rs 4,33,024); 8-Uttam Singh Mundy (Rs 4,29,362); 9-Rafiq Ali (Rs 4,11,848); 10-Feroz Ali (Rs 4,02,433); 11-Pappan (Rs 3,93,740); 12-Gaurav Ghei (Rs 3,65,680); 13-Jyoti Randhawa (Rs 2,91,600); 14-Rahul Ganapathy (Rs 2,87,480); 15-Sanjay Kumar (Rs 2,76,476).