Maiden pro win for Joshi

Maiden pro win for Joshi

Youngster clinches two-shot win over Chadha

Talented young golfer Khalin Joshi realised his dream of winning a professional title when he completed a fine victory in the PGTI Players Championship at the Noida Golf Course.

The 22-year-old Bangalorean, who broke into the pro ranks last year and notched up a runner-up finish at the J&K Bank PGTI Pahalgam Masters this July, finally laid his hands on the winner’s cheque after carding a one-over 73. Khalin totalled seven-under 281 for a two-shot victory over Abhijit Singh Chadha (72) while Angad Cheema (72) and Ashok Kumar (72) signed off tied third at 284.

Leading by three shots overnight, Karnataka Golf Association’s Khalin made a perfect start to the day when he birdied the opening hole, set up following a brilliant chip-in from the bunker. However, a poor approach shot on the fourth hole cost him a double bogey six and just when he appeared to have undone that damage with a birdie on seventh, he dropped a bogey on the ninth.

With the chasing pack not that far away, Khalin needed some breathing space and the youngster upped the ante with birdies on the 14th and 16th holes. While he chipped the ball on the 14th, he drained a superb 15-footer on the 16th to go three shots ahead of Chadha. Things then took a dramatic turn on the 17th when Khalin putted to end up with a double bogey that trimmed his lead to just one shot. Khalin, however, showed character in parring the final hole to wrap up a needlessly nervous win.

“I’m elated to win my first title in my second season as a professional,” said Khalin after receiving the winner’s cheque of Rs 4,84,950. “I’ve been close to winning in the past but used to squander opportunities in the final stages. It was a high-scoring day as the wind was swirling around and I did well to hang in there. “This win has come at an ideal time for me as we are at the business end of the season. I’ll now go into the remaining events of the season with loads of confidence,” added Khalin, who has risen to ninth place in the money list.

Leading scorers (after 72 holes): 281: Khalin Joshi (69, 70, 69, 73); 283: Abhijit Singh Chadha (74, 70, 67, 72); 284: Angad Cheema (72, 71, 69, 72), Ashok Kumar (74, 68, 70, 72); 286: Abhinav Lohan (67, 70, 74, 75).