Golf: Anirban Lahiri wins McLeod Russel Tour Championship

Kolkata, Dec 29: Anirban Lahiri of Bangalore took top honours at the Rs. 1.35 crore McLeod Russel Tour Championship after registering an impressive four-shot victory at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club (RCGC) Sunday.

Lahiri came up with a three-under-par 69 in the final round of the PGTI’s year-ending event to end the week with a total of 17-under-par, 271. Kolkata’s Rahil Gangjee finished runner-up at 13-under-par 275.

Lahiri (66-71-65-69), the overnight leader by three strokes, had an early hiccup in the final round as he double-bogeyed the second after his second shot reflected off a water sprinkler. The 26-year-old then got into his stride with birdies on the fourth, fifth, ninth, 12th, 16th and 17th to wrap up his 13th professional title in style.

Lahiri’s putter was on fire as he sank birdie putts from 15 to 20 feet on the fifth, ninth, 16th and 17th. He also landed his approach within two feet for a tap-in birdie on the 12th. Anirban’s only error on the back-nine was the bogey on the closing 18th.

“I’m really delighted with my first win at the RCGC. I’ve been coming here since I was 11 years old but was never able to win a title before. The double-bogey early on made me focus better as it shook me up.

I focussed really well thereafter and holed almost everything on the greens,” said Lahiri, who has won four titles this year. He took home a cheque of Rs. 21,39,750.

Rahil Gangjee (70-68-68-69) had an eventful front-nine where he made five birdies and three bogeys. He had a relatively quieter back-nine with two birdies and a bogey.

Gangjee was a threat to Lahiri in the initial stages of the round as he made some long putts on the first, second and fifth. However, bogeys on the eighth, ninth and 12th pulled him back and he ended up with a three-under-par 69 for the day.

Abhinav Lohan of Faridabad and Delhi’s Chiragh Kumar finished tied third at 10-under-par 278. Jyoti Randhawa was a further shot behind in fifth place.

Delhi’s Rashid Khan earned sixth place at eigh-under-par 280 and thus ended up in number one position on the Rolex Rankings to emerge as the Rolex Player of the Year for 2013.

Gaganjeet Bhullar and Chikkarangappa of Bangalore were in tied eighth at six-under-par 282. Chikkarangappa, as a result, claimed second position on the Rolex Rankings and also won the Emerging Player of the Year title.

SSP Chowrasia of Kolkata finished in 17thplace with a total score of two-under-par 286.

IANS