Prabagaran claims maiden title with playoff win against Om Prakash
Sri Lankan K Prabagaran claimed his maiden professional title with a playoff win against Om Prakash Chouhan of Mhow at the PGTI Players Championship at Coimbatore Golf Club today.
Prabagaran sealed it with a par on the second playoff hole even as Chouhan missed an eight feet par putt. Both Prabagaran and Chouhan had earlier ended the regulations 72 holes with matching scores of nine-under-279.
K Prabagaran (70-70-71-68), who was in tied sixth after round three, fired his best score of the week on Saturday. His four-under-68 featured five birdies and a lone bogey. Prabagaran was off to a good start as he sank birdie putts from 18 feet and eight feet on the second and third holes respectively.
The 33-year-old from Nuwara Eliya in Sri Lanka then produced a splendid chip from 50 yards on the ninth that left him a tap-in for birdie. Prabagaran became the outright leader after converting seven-footers for birdies on the 10th and 15th. However, he fell back into the joint lead after a bogey on the 17th.
Om Prakash Chouhan (68-68-74-69) had four birdies and a bogey in his final round of 69. Chouhan, a two-time winner on the PGTI, missed an eight-feet birdie putt for victory on the 18th. The two players then headed into their first ever playoff.
The first playoff hole was all square as Chouhan recovered from the bunker for a par while Prabagaran also made par with an up and down from 60 yards. Prabagaran bagged the title after rolling in a one-foot par putt on the second playoff hole even as Chouhan couldn't salvage a par from the bunker. Prabagaran has now moved up from seventh to third in the 2014 Rolex Rankings.
Prabagaran said, "I'm really thrilled to win my first title. I was very consistent through the week. My chipping was excellent today. I was a little nervous after taking the sole lead on the 15th. However, I didn't really feel the pressure during the playoff. I have done well on this course in the past having won the All India Championship here in 2007. I was therefore, familiar with the course conditions and the layout and that gave me an edge.'
'I received a lot of support today especially from my fellow Sri Lankan professionals Mithun Perera and N Thangaraja. I would like to thank my home course Nuwara Eliya Golf Club in Sri Lanka for supporting me all these years. I would also like to thank the Coimbatore Golf Club for having sponsored me while I was an amateur," he added.
Delhi's Rashid Khan (69-71-73-67) and Mukesh Kumar (69-71-71-69) of Mhow were tied third at eight-under-280. While Mukesh was in the lead for a brief period on the final day, Rashid was also in the joint lead at one stage. Rashid's 67 was the best score of round four.
Third round leader Amardip Sinh Malik (70-68-69-74) of Noida slipped to tied fifth after a 74 on Saturday. Kolkata's Feroz Ali Mollah (72-66-71-72) joined Malik in tied fifth place at seven-under-281. Leading Scores: 279 - K Prabagaran (70-70-71-68), Om Prakash Chouhan (68-68-74-69) 280 - Rashid Khan (69-71-73-67), Mukesh Kumar (69-71-71-69) 281 - Feroz Ali Mollah (72-66-71-72), Amardip Sinh Malik (70-68-69-74).
(Posted on 05-04-2014)