Yuvraj Singh Sandhu in action; and at Prize Presentation. Pics: PGTI
Chandigarh, April 15: Chandigarh’s Yuvraj Singh Sandhu did not blink and kept his calm to come up with an excellent chip on the 18th and final hole to set up a tap-in par at the Rs. 50 lakh TATA Steel PGTI Players Championship 2022 presented by Chandigarh Golf Club. That par gave him a final round of 3-under 69 and a total of 17-under 271 for his third win in five months.
The 25-year-old Sandhu (70-67-65-69), playing at his home course earned a one-stroke victory over Bangladesh’s Md Zamal Hossain Mollah (67-66-69-70), the joint overnight leader.
Sandhu, who bagged his second win of the 2022 season and a cheque worth Rs. 8,08,250 consolidated his position in the PGTI Order of Merit though he is still ranked second. He will also rise in Official World Rankings to around 310, up from 363. He was 505 at the start of 2022.
Zamal Hossain Mollah had a chance to force a play-off but missed his 15-foot birdie putt by a whisker on the final hole. Zamal’s last round 70 saw him claim the runner-up position at 16-under 272.
Karandeep Kochhar, another Chandigarh lad, fired a spectacular 65 in round four, the day’s best score, to secure third place at 15-under 273.
Zamal enjoyed a one-stroke lead early in the day till there was a two-shot swing in favour of Sandhu on the par-3 eighth. On the back-nine, Yuvraj’s putter stayed hot as he continued to drain putts from a range of 10 to 15 feet to move ahead with birdies on the 11th and 12th.
There was another twist on the 17th, this time a two-shot swing in favour of Zamal as he birdied from four feet while Sandhu found the trees and the bunker to concede a shot.
Yuvraj finally saw it home after playing a fine chip to set up a tap-in for par on the 18th but not before surviving a scare from Zamal who narrowly missed a 15-feet birdie conversion.
Yuvraj, who won his third career title, said, “It was about staying patient from the very outset. I knew the last four to five holes would be critical and I needed to stay patient on that stretch in particular.
“I had the confidence of playing at home in conditions that I know well. The home support and the presence of my parents and family also made me feel quite comfortable out there while competing. Its special to win at my home course and in the presence of my parents for the first time.
“It’s been about keeping my head down and working on my game and my fitness with my team day in and day out. That’s been the key to my consistency.
“It was an intense final day as I did not have a comfortable lead at any point. But I stuck to what has worked for me before.”
Karandeep Kochhar’s error-free effort of 65 featured five consecutive birdies from the ninth to the 13th where he sank a 60 feet putt and struck some fine iron shots to leave himself tap-ins on a couple of occasions. Kartik Sharma (72) of Gurugram finished fourth at 13-under 275.