Manu Gandas wins eighth career title with last day 64 at Tata Steel PGTI

Kolkata, Feb 16 (PTI) Gurugram’s Manu Gandas carded last round’s best score of six-under 64 to win the Rs 1 crore TATA Steel PGTI Players Championship for his eighth career title here on Friday.

The 27-year-old Gandas (65-67-64-64) totalled an impressive 20-under 260 over the four rounds. His second straight 64 was a bogey-free effort that was punctuated by three birdies each on the front-nine and back-nine.

Rahil Gangjee (65-65-64-68), playing in his original home town of Kolkata, put together a fourth round of 68 to secure the runner-up spot at 18-under 262.

Gandas, who had earned a spot on the DP World Tour in 2023 after winning the TATA Steel PGTI Ranking in 2022, was trailing overnight leader Gangjee by two shots at the start of the day.

He started piling pressure on Gangjee with some great wedge shots that led to birdies on the fourth and seventh and a 40-feet birdie conversion on the sixth.

Gandas continued to fire with his short-game on the back-nine, making two critical birdie putts from a range of 10 to 15 feet on the 13th and 17th to finally move into the lead and thereafter seal the match.

“I stuck to my game plan and continued doing what I did well earlier in the week. The first round was my best in terms of ball-striking. But on the next two days, the irons were not up to the mark,” he said after winning the title.

“However, I managed to salvage those rounds thanks to my short-game. The long birdie putt on the 17th today was crucial as it gave me a two-shot cushion going into the last hole.” He said he drew a lot of positives from his experience of playing on the DP World Tour last year.

“The fields there were world-class and the environment was completely different. I got to see where my game stood and where it needed to be in order for me to excel at the international level. Just continue what I’m doing.” Bengaluru-based Gangjee controlled the proceedings till the 13th, having drained five birdies at the cost of a lone bogey. However, his double-bogey on the 14th saw his title hopes fade away as Gandas emerged as the new leader.

Chandigarh’s Akshay Sharma (65) finished third at 17-under 263.

Rookie Stepan Danek of the Czech Republic (67), making his PGTI debut, ended tied fourth at 16-under 264 along with Delhi-based Saptak Talwar (68).

Source: PTI News


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