New Delhi, Mar 17: South African Thomas Aiken held firm against a spirited challenge by local favourite Gaganjeet Bhullar to win his second European Tour title at the Avantha Masters in New Delhi on Sunday.
The 29-year-old from Johannesburg, who took a three-stroke lead into the final round, won by the same margin with a four-day 23-under-par total of 265 at the Jaypee Greens Golf and Spa Resort.
Bhullar’s eight-under-par 64 ensured he finished a creditable second while Liang Wenchong of China finished five shots behind the leader.
India’s Bhullar, 24, came out all guns blazing with birdies on the first three holes and an eagle on the fifth and kept the pressure up on Aiken till the close.
Aiken’s playing partner Liang was also quick off the blocks with birdies on the second, fourth and fifth holes but the highlight of his round came with a hole-in-one at the seventh.
Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat carded a 69 to finish fourth at one under-par with South Korean Baek Seuk-Hyun coming fifth after a round of 66 left him with a final score of par 272.
The South African, however, kept his nerve and maintained the gap to the chasers with a bogey-free card of five-under-par 67 at the co-sanctioned event with the Asian Tour.
Aikten, whose 10-under-par 62 in the third round set up his victory, thanked the support from his entourage.
“I really, really thoroughly enjoyed my time here. Thanks to my caddy, he did a fantastic job this week. My coach back home thank you very much he, he has been with me for 20 years to all the support from my parents, my friends and my wife. I can thank you enough,” he said on his way to lift the trophy. (ANI)