Liang takes the crown, Jeev best Indian at Indian Open golf

October 12th, 2008 - 8:59 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Oct 12 (IANS) Liang Wen-Chong Liang nailed a two-under-par 70 for a one stroke triumph over Australian rookie Darren Beck (65) in the Hero Honda Indian Open golf Sunday.India’s Jeev Milkha Singh recorded his best finish in the tournament at fourth place while twice defending champion Jyoti Randhawa faded into oblivion in the 57th place on the final day at the Delhi Golf Club .

The crowning, however, was reserved for Liang, who except for a brief period of just about 15 minutes, led through the week. Beck, a little known Australian, landed four birdies on the back nine and took the clubhouse lead at 15-under, just as Liang dropped a double bogey on the 16th. But birdies on the 17th and 18th saw Liang carry the day finishing at 16-under.

Liang, who was the 2007 Asian Tour’s Order of Merit winner, birdied the last two holes for an emphatic wire-to-wire success.

With a winning total of 16-under-par 272, Liang walked away with the top prize of US$158,500 and rises to fifth place on the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit.

“I’m delighted with this win. It’s my first triumph from start to finish and I’m really happy,” said the jubilant Liang.

Australia’s Adam Blyth was even-par for the day and claimed third place while Jeev was the highest ranked local finisher when he carded a 69 for a 276 total.

“The fourth place is my best ever and hopefully I will better that soon,” said Jeev, who played with a taped-up shoulder, after straining it during a yoga session in the morning.

“I was very scared I might have to drop out because it was painful and I could barely move. The pain killers and Philippa (Physio) helped me through the round.”

India had three other top-10 finishers in Ashok Kumar (72) and Mukesh Kumar (70), both tied eighth and Sanjay Kumar (70) in tied 10th.

It was a remarkable week for Liang who opened his campaign with a superb 60 Thursday. He then fired two straight 71s and held on to a one stroke advantage heading into the final round.

The Zhongshan-born champion was three under after nine holes but slipped on the back nine by dropping a shot on the 14th hole coupled with a double bogey on the 15th.

Beck took advantage by firing a birdie on the final hole for a one stroke lead but Liang bounced back thanks to an accurate drive on the 17th hole and a superb chip on the 18th which left him with a three foot birdie putt for the win.

Liang said he had put too much pressure on himself on the 14th hole which cost him the bogey.

“I was in the bunker which resulted in a bogey and I chose the wrong club on the 15th hole. I was 154 yards to the pin and I used an eight iron. But I kept it together with two birdies for a great finish,” said Liang, who won the Singapore Masters last year.

Australia’s Beck clawed his way up from a six stroke deficit in the final round by holing seven birdies today to finish in lone second place.

“I’m delighted with my performance this week. I’m surprised to have done well but it’s because I’ve been focusing on my mental game in the past few weeks. I felt confident and not nervous which has been my problem before,” he said.

Leading final round scores
272 - Liang Wen-chong (CHN) 60-71-71-70
273 - Darren Beck (AUS) 70-70-68-65
275 - Adam Blyth (AUS) 70-67-66-72
276 - Jeev Milkha Singh (IND) 65-74-68-69
277 - Guido Van Der Valk (NED) 77-61-70-69
279 - Mukesh Kumar (IND) 68-73-68-70, Ashok Kumar (IND) 70-67-70-72
280 - Muhammad Munir (PAK) 69-69-72-70, Mars Pucay (PHI) 71-67-70-72
281 - Marcus Both (AUS) 74-69-70-68, Sanjay Kumar (IND) 66-72-73-70, Rhys Davies (WAL) 70-72-69-70, Artemio Murakami (PHI) 74-67-68-72, Mark Brown (NZL) 71-67-69-74, Steven Tiley (ENG) 72-66-69-74
282 - Atthaphon Prathummanee (THA) 67-73-71-71, Jaiveer Virk (IND) 71-69-71-71, Wu Ashun (CHN) 72-71-68-71, Lu Wen-teh (TPE) 66-71-71-74, Unho Park (AUS) 67-71-66-78.

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