M Dharma secures long-awaited win at Gurgaon Open

Nuh (Haryana), Apr 19 (PTI) M Dharma of Bengaluru carded a solid four-under 68 in the final round to end a seven-year long winless streak, claiming a five-stroke victory at the Rs 1 crore Gurgaon Open here on Friday.

The 38-year-old totalled 18-under 270 for the week to emerge champion for the first time since 2017.

Dharma’s third professional win earned him a cheque worth Rs 15 lakh that lifted him from 40th place to seventh position in the TATA Steel PGTI Ranking.

“I’ve had to wait a long time for this victory so I’m just soaking in the moment,” he said after the win.

“My terrific ball-striking was the best aspect of my game this week. Even though I came close to winning a number of times over the last few years, I kept patience, didn’t lose heart and stuck to my task by continuing to practice hard. This positive approach finally paid off for me.

“Today I felt in control after making three birdies on the front-nine. The big change in my game has been that I now don’t get angry with myself or lose focus after dropping a bogey or two. I take it in my stride and look to come back stronger.” Khalin Joshi (69-71-68-67) produced the day’s joint lowest round of 67 to clinch tied second place at 13-under 275.

The other two joint runners-up along with Khalin were Delhi’s Saarthak Chhibber (71-70-64-70) who registered a career-best finish and Bengaluru’s Yashas Chandra (69-69-69-68) who secured his third top-10 of the season.

Dharma, who enjoyed a two-shot lead ahead of the last round, further built on his lead with birdies on the fifth, seventh, eighth and 12th where his good hitting form saw him land the ball within 10 feet.

Sitting with a comfortable four-shot lead after 12 holes on a day characterized by less wind and calm conditions, Dharma dropped two bogeys on the last six holes but also capitalized on the par-5s 14th and 18th with birdies to close out the match with relative ease.

Yashas Chandra (68) also continued his consistent showing with an eagle, four birdies and two bogeys to join the three-way tie for second place.

Saarthak Chhibber (70) made three birdies and a bogey on Friday to finish as the third joint runner-up.

Source: PTI News


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