Vinod Kumar saves best for last, wins
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Vinod Kumar (70-69-70-70) started the final round in tied second place and soon established himself as a main contender for the title. He made a phenomenal par-save on the par-5 third hole where he first found the fairway bunker and then the hazard. The 32-year-old recovered well on the third with a brilliant chip from behind the bunker that landed a couple of feet of the flag.
Vinod made his move up the leaderboard with a 20-feet birdie putt conversion on the sixth. The professional from the Delhi Golf Club earned his second birdie of the day on the 13th where his well-directed approach shot landed six feet from the hole. However, Vinod was disappointed to miss birdie putts from five feet on the 12th and 14th. Vinod did well to make par on the par-3 15th which had the day's toughest pin position. Shamim Khan had stumbled to an eight (five-over) on the 15th after hitting it out of bounds twice and then finding the hazard. Shamim's title hopes were dashed on the 15th. Harendra Gupta also dropped a bogey on the same hole. Vinod saved par in a pressure situation once again when he sank a 15 feet putt on the 16th. He went on to make pars on the last two holes as well seal his second title on the PGTI. His win at the Rs 40 lakh event made him richer by Rs 6,46,600 and took him from 22nd to 11th position on the 2012 Rankings.
"My game was in great shape this week. I shot four under-par scores and was very consistent. I was particularly solid today. I recovered from some very tough situations such as the third, 15th and 16th. I made my best par-save of the tournament on the third and did well to negotiate the tricky 15th hole where quite a few other players had struggled. The sixth hole is the longest par-3 on the course and the windy conditions made it the toughest hole of the day. I managed to salvage a birdie on the sixth," said Vinod, who has won a team event and a title on the PGTI Feeder Tour besides his two wins on the PGTI.
He said, "I thank fellow professional Gurbaaz Mann for helping me with my club fitting. I was hitting the ball to the left on day one but with Gurbaaz's club fitting, my hitting improved. SSP Chowrasia's sound advice has also contributed to my success. He told me to aim for pars and the birdies will happen."
Arshdeep Tiwana (72-72-65-71) with four birdies against three bogeys in the final round finished tied second along with Harendra Gupta (68-70-70-72) whose round four featured two birdies and two bogeys. Australia's Kunal Bhasin was fourth with a seven-under-281 total. Shamim Khan, who finished tied eighth at three-under-285, continues to lead the 2012 Rankings.
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