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Shamim lifts IndianOil SERVO Masters Golf title

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  26 Nov 2017 12:00 AM GMT

From Our Correspondent

Digboi, Nov 25: The experienced Shamim Khan weathered the storm called Veer Ahlawat to register his second win at the IndianOil SERVO Masters Golf on Saturday here at the Historic Golf Links in Digboi.

The 39-year-old Shamim came through in a playoff against the 21-year-old Veer after both the Delhi-based professiols ended the regulation 72 holes with identical scores of nine-under-279 at the tranquil Digboi Golf Links. It was Khan’s third title of the season and his 15th overall.

Khan meanwhile taking home the winner’s cheque of Rs. 6 lakh from the Rs. 40 lakh event continuing in second place on the PGTI Order of Merit. However, with Shamim’s season earnings moving to Rs. 35,58,250, he has now rrowed the gap between himself and the money list leader Udayan Mane to just Rs. 1 lakh.

Shamim Khan (72-66-71-70), the overnight joint leader, looked in control when he sank his second birdie of the day, a 35-footer on the fifth, which gave him a two-shot lead. But there was a twist when Veer Ahlawat (71-70-69-69), who was overnight tied third and one off the lead, produced birdies on the sixth, seventh and ninth while Shamim dropped a bogey on the eighth.

However, after nine holes, Veer, playing one group ahead of the leaders, drew level with Shamim to emerge as a top contender. Ahlawat, playing only his second season as a professiol, filly took the sole lead when he drove the 12th green to set up a birdie. Veer, who plays at the DLF Golf & Country Club, Gurgaon, dropped a shot on the 13th but regained his outright lead with a brilliant chip-putt birdie on the 15th.

Ahlawat then missed a few chances to seal his maiden title, notably an up and down for par on the 18th. The match went into a playoff as Khan made pars on his last 10 holes which included a crucial five feet conversion on the 18th.

Veer hit the green while Shamim was in the bunker after two shots each during the playoff on the par-4 18th. Khan maged to turn the tables with a gem of a bunker shot that set up a tap-in for par. The six-foot-three-inch tall Ahlawat, on the other hand, three-putted from 20 feet for a bogey that gave Shamim his 13th PGTI title.

Shamim, who previously won the titleship in Digboi earlier in 2014, said, “My putting wasn’t great for the second consecutive day and when I missed a two-footer for par on the eighth, I knew I was in trouble, adding “However, I hung in there with pars all the way till the end. I was quite happy to take it into the playoff after having trailed Veer on the back-nine. In a playoff situation, experience always counts. That’s what saw me through at the end. I felt Veer tried a bit too hard during the playoff.

“The birdies were hard to come by on the last two days but my chipping average was excellent. I landed all my chips within a short distance of the pins. The win puts me in a good position to once again contend for the Order of Merit crown,” added Khan, the 2012 PGTI Order of Merit champion.

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