Himmat ends third after Choi blitz

Himmat Rai

Overnight leader Rai brought home a modest two-under 70 to finish with a 54-hole aggregate of 15-under 201 as KJ Choi (196) orchestrated a sensational late charge to win the title with a sizzling eight-under 64.

Burly Thai Chapchai Nirat (200) came second after a sterling 66 in the weather-hit event that was reduced to a 54-hole tournament.

Among other Indians in fray, Anirban Lahiri’s (206) third round of 68 earned him a top 10 finish at ninth, one shot ahead of Rahil Gangjee (tied 15th).

Rising star Gaganjeet Bhullar (210) came tied 24th, four shots ahead of compatriots Ashok Kumar, C Muniyappa and Jyoti Randhawa who share the 47th place.
Himmat had a rather sedate front nine with the third hole bogey sandwiched between birdies as the golfer took the turn at one-under.

On his way back, Himmat birdied the 11th, 14th and 15th but dropped a shot each on the 13th and the final hole to settle for a two-under card and share the third spot with defending champion Retief Goosen.

Despite missing his maiden Asian Tour title after coming so close, Rai was not too unhappy since it was his best finish this season.

“It feels good and satisfying to know that I played so well. Overall it has been a great tournament for me. Playing with KJ Choi and the things that I learnt from him is unbelievable. His concentration is very good and he hit some really great shots,” said Rai. “Having played so well this week, I’m beginning to feel much more confident about my game. I’m just looking forward to playing more on the Asian Tour and playing my heart out,” added the Indian.

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