Arjun clashes with Shamim in SRF Matchplay final

March 14th, 2008 - 10:40 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, March 14 (IANS) Seasoned Arjun Singh will clash with the match-play expert Shamim Khan in the final of the Professional Golf Tour of India’s (PGTI) SRF All India Professional Golf Matchplay Championship at the Delhi Golf Club. In the semi-final Friday, Arjun Singh beat Lam Chih Bing 2 and 1 while Shamim Khan beat old warhorse Ali Sher on the second playoff hole to enter the final.

Arjun Singh was involved in an exciting semi-final clash with Singapore’s Lam Chih. Arjun first went ahead by winning the fifth hole. Lam Chih soon bounced back to take the lead when he won the seventh and ninth holes. Arjun came right back into the game with wins on the 10th and 15th. Arjun then went on to win the 17th to book a place in the final with a 2 and 1 score.

“I had a terrific round today as I was seven under after 17 holes. I made eight birdies and one bogey and picked up the pace on the back nine. Lam Chih also played really well and gave me a tough fight,” said Arjun.

“I’m looking forward to the final tomorrow. In a 36-hole match one needs to be consistent throughout the day,” he said.

In the other semi-final, veteran Ali Sher took on his nephew Shamim. If the first semi-final was a close affair, this one was even better. Shamim won the nail-biting encounter by sinking a ten feet putt on the second playoff hole (20th hole).

It was all square after 18 holes as Shamim had won the first, sixth and seventh holes while Ali bagged the fifth, eighth and 10th. The two players birdied the first playoff hole. Shamim then came through by sinking another birdie on the 20th as Ali made par.

“I started well but then struggled with some left to right putts on the back nine. I did well with the irons today and made four birdies, two in the regulation 18 and two consecutive birdies in the playoff. Ali was also at his best today. He made some fantastic chip-putts,” said Shamim, who won the tournament in 2006.

“It will be a tough final tomorrow. However, a 36-hole match always gives you a chance to make a comeback, in case you do not start well,” Shamim said.

The final could turn out to be another pulsating encounter as both Shamim and Arjun have performed well. While Shamim is currently fifth on the PGTI Order of Merit with four top 10 finishes out of five starts and was also the first round leader at the Johnnie Walker Classic, Arjun is currently 11th on the PGTI Order of Merit with two top 10 finishes out of three starts.

The final will be played over 36 holes. In the other match slated Saturday, Lam Chih Bing will play Ali for the third and fourth place. This match will be decided over 18 holes.

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