Rohana rallies to triumph

The Garden City is slowly becoming Anura Rohana’s favourite hunting ground.

Just less than a year after he broke his professional title duck at the Karnataka Golf Association, the Sri Lankan unleashed a brilliant late fightback to capture the PGTI Players Championship here at the Prestige Golfshire Club.

Overcoming a faltering start and overnight leader Anirban Lahiri with steely grit, the 38-year-old fired a brilliant three-under 69 to snatch a one-shot victory after totalling seven-under 281.

Lahiri, who had been making steady progress, faltered at the most inopportune time, shooting a disappointing two-over 74 to finish second while Rohana’s compatriot Mithun Perera and Delhi youngster Rashid Khan shared the third spot at 283 after carding 69 and 74 respectively.

Rohana’s start was anything but good, finding a bogey on the very first hole itself to trail Lahiri by five shots. He reduced the margin with a birdie on the par-5 third but found a bogey again on the eighth hole. After a sedate start to the back nine, Rohana’s putter suddenly found its range as he pulled off birdies on the 13th and 14th holes. He fired his fourth birdie for the day at the 16th before sealing victory with a neat birdie on the closing 18th hole.

“I’m delighted to have turned this around despite being four shots behind after the third round,” said a delighted Rohana. “My approach shots and chip-putts were outstanding today. The turning point for me was the 14th where I landed it within five feet from a distance of 75 yards. It pepped me up.”

Lahiri, on the other hand, looked completely off colour. Three bogeys and a double bogey ruined his chances, his saving grace coming on the last five holes where he sunk three birdies.

Leading scores (after 72 holes): 281: Anura Rohana (71, 73, 68, 69); 282: Anirban Lahiri (71, 68, 69, 74); 283: Mithun Perera (73, 68, 73, 69), Rashid Khan (67, 71, 71, 74); 287: Ajeetesh Sandhu (72, 73, 70, 72); 288: Digvijay Singh (76, 69, 72, 71); 290: Vijay Kumar (75, 72, 68, 75); 291: Harendra P Gupta (76, 68, 76, 71), C Muniyappa (74, 73, 72, 72); 293: Shamim Khan (75, 75, 70, 73).

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