Gangjee opens season with top-10 at Bangkok

February 8th, 2009 - 8:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangkok, Feb 8 (IANS) Indian golfer Rahil Gangjee faltered on the final day of Asian Tour International but still opened the season with a top-10 finish here Sunday.
Shooting his highest score of the week, he finished the final day with a one-under 71 and the week at 12-under 272 in tied seventh place.

He finished four shots behind South Africa’s James Kamte who began his rookie year on the Asian Tour with the very best of starts by lifting his maiden title.

India’s other challengers were Gaurav Ghei (70) at five-under 279 in tied 30th place, while Gaganjeet Bhullar (73) was four-under 280 in 37th place and Digvijay Singh (71) at even par 284 was 57th.

Gangjee, who missed his card last season, has thus made a strong start, which will also help his re-ranking and with $7620 he will also have a lot of confidence for the upcoming events.

Kamte held off a spirited challenge from a determined Tetsuji Hiratsuka of Japan by closing with a five-under 66 for a 16-under-par 268 total to pip the Japanese to the title by two shots.

Overnight leader Hiratsuka, who came into the final round with a slender one shot lead, finished on even-par 71 for a 270 total to take second place while Australia’s Unho Park and Marcus Both together with Thailand’s Prom Meesawat and Philippines’ Juvic Pagunsan all took a share of third place on matching 271s.

Kamte got off quickly with two birdies on his opening two holes. He survived a nasty scare on the fifth hole when he dropped a shot for bogey, which allowed Park to move ahead of him at that stage.

However, the South African, who finished fourth at Qualifying school, stormed into contention after the turn with birdies on the 11th, 13th and 16th holes when the others began to falter.

Kamte took home the winner’s purse of $47,550.

Leading final round scores:

268 - James Kamte (RSA) 71-63-68-66

270 - Tetsuji Hiratsuka (JPN) 64-68-67-71

271 - Marcus Both (AUS) 63-68-72-68, Prom Meesawat (THA) 69-68-68-66

Juvic Pagunsan (PHI) 67-71-65-68, Unho Park (AUS) 65-69-66-71

272 - Wu Ashun (CHN) 67-71-71-63, Mark Purser (NZL) 68-66-71-67, Rahil Gangjee (IND) 65-69-68-70

273 - Atthaphon Prathummanee (THA) 68-68-71-66

274 - Simon Griffiths (ENG) 68-71-71-64, Mo Joong-Kyung (KOR) 66-70-73-65, Gavin Flint (AUS) 67-69-70-68, Iain Steel (MAS) 72-63-70-69, Ted Oh (KOR) 68-66-69-71

275 - Noh Seung-Yul (KOR) 68-66-75-66

276 - Kodai Ichihara (JPN) 66-69-74-67, Prayad Marksaeng (THA) 71-68-68-69, Tim Stewart (AUS) 69-69-68-70, Danny Chia (MAS) 67-69-69-71

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