Golconda Masters Telangana Open: Manu Gandas lifts maiden PGTI trophy

Manu Gandas lifted his maiden professional title when he posted a two-under 64 on the final and fourth round of the Golconda Masters Telangana Open at the Hyderabad Golf Association (HGA) course on Sunday.
The leader all three days, Manu (64-58-64-64) was leading by five shots on the penultimate round, signed a card of two-under 64 consisting of four birdies and two bogeys to finish with a tally of 22-under 250 to pocket the Rs 40 lakh event. Manu, 25, went home richer by Rs 6,46,600 and climbed to fourth place in the PGTI Order of Merit with a total purse of Rs 24,12,350.
Karandeep Singh Kochhar (67-64-63-59) shot the day’s best score of seven-under 59 and finished runner-up at 19-under 253. The Chandigarh lad, 22, is leading the PGTI Order of Merit with an earnings of Rs 42,95,130 including 4,46, 600 he won on Sunday.
Former champions Chikkarangappa (67-63-61-63) of Bengaluru ended third at 18-under 254 with a three-under 63 on the fourth day.
On the front-nine, Manu suffered a bogey on the second and missed birdie putts from a range of 10 feet thrice but was still ahead of the rest. On the back-nine, he began with birdies on the 10th and 11th but missed on the 13th, 14th and 15th.
Manu Gandas (in red T-shirt) of Gurugram receiving the winner’s trophy from G Kishan Reddy, Union state minister of tourism (third from right). K Santosh Reddy, chairman, Dream Valley Golf & Resorts (fourth from left), T Ajay Reddy, captain, HGA; BVK Raju, secretary, HGA; Ramakrishna Reddy, treasurer, HGA, Jasvinder Singh Birgi, joint secretary, HGA and Sanjay Kamtam, committee member, HGA are also seen.
The DLF Golf & Country Club golfer, however, made up for the loss by converting birdies on the 16th and 17th but suffered a bogey in the last hole but went on to win by three shots.
“I’m relieved and happy to win a title. My ball-striking has been at its best and psychologically I was good. I was comfortable all through and the early bogey and missing the birdies didn’t bother me. I didn’t check on the scoreboard often and was just focusing on my own game. Of course, this title gives me tremendous confidence going ahead. I would like to thank my family for all their support and my coach Anitya Chand for his guidance,” Manu said.
Karandeep, a two-time winner, sank a 30-feet birdie on the 15th and landed his tee shot within two feet of the pin for a tap-in birdie on the 18th and made all greens in regulation.
Bengaluru’s Khalin Joshi (61) and Noida’s Amardeep Malik (65) were tied fourth place at 16-under 256. Local professional Mohd Azhar finished tied 24th at five-under 267.
For the third consecutive day the play was restricted to 66 instead of regular 71 after rains left waterlogging on the fairways of the HGA course. The organisers were forced to reduce four holes: No. 2 (par-4 to par-3), No. 6 (par-5 to par-3), No. 8 (par-5 to par-4) and No. 18 (Par-4 to Par-3). The second round was restricted to 68 while the third round was reduced to 67.
The next event is a Rs 50 lakh PGTI Players Championship at Panchkula Golf Club, Panchkula from September 8-11.

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