Mukesh Kumar wins Centurion Bank of Punjab Open

March 30th, 2008 - 10:37 pm ICT by admin  

Chandigarh, March 30 (IANS) Mukesh Kumar used all his experience to beat Gaganjeet Bhullar on the first playoff hole to win the inaugural Centurion Bank of Punjab Open Golf Championship here Sunday. Mukesh (67, 69, 68 and 70) thus won his third title of the 2007-08 PGTI season. Mukesh and Gaganjeet were involved in a playoff for the title as the two finished at the top of the leader board with an identical fourteen under 274. Manav Jaini finished third with a total of six under 282.

Mukesh converted a 12 feet putt on the first playoff hole to emerge winner. He won the IOC Xtra-Premium Masters in Nov 2007 and the Tata Open in Jan 2008.

Mukesh started the final day with a five stroke lead over Bhullar. However, the 42-year-old veteran bogeyed the first two holes. He then picked up birdies on the third, fifth and sixth. Mukesh made the turn at level par after dropping a bogey on the eighth.

Mukesh hit a solid back nine by making seven pars and two birdies (13th and 18th). The overnight leader almost let the title slip as Bhullar caught up with him on the 16th and then took a one-stroke lead on the 17th. But Mukesh struck back with a birdie on the 18th to be tied with Bhullar.

The match then went to a playoff and Mukesh edged out Bhullar on the first hole by making a 12 feet putt for birdie. Bhullar’s shot landed over the green and he could not chip-in for a birdie.

“I think it was my experience that paid-off at the end. Gaganjeet played some outstanding golf to give me a very tough fight. He has a great future and will only get better with experience,” Mukesh said.

“This is turning out to be a great year for me because there is a lot of improvement in all aspects of my game. The last time I played so well was in 1993-94 when I won 11 titles out of 20 in the season.

Manav Jaini (71, 70, 70, 71) finished third at six under 282. His fourth round of 71 included six birdies and five bogeys.

Chandigarh’s Harendra Gupta (71, 72, 68, 72) was fourth at five under 283. Vijay Kumar (69, 69, 72, 75) was two strokes behind Gupta in fifth place.

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