Dharma snatches win in play-off

Dharma snatches win in play-off

Bengaluru golfer M Dharma's aggressive approach paid off as he triumphed at the Rs 1 crore CG Open 2017 after defeating Lucknow's Sanjeev Kumar in the playoffs.

The two golfers headed for a playoff after being tied at the top at 16-under-264 following the regulation 72 holes were completed at the Bombay Presidency Golf Club (BPGC) here.

Dharma (67-66-64-67), lying overnight tied second and two off the lead, collected three birdies on the first five holes to rise into contention early in the day. But the match almost slipped out of his hands when he double-bogeyed the 15th after an error in club selection.

However, Dharma roared back with a brave bogey on the 18th to take the match into a play-off.

Dharma's opponent in the play-off was Sanjeev (66-67-67- 64), who himself produced a bogey-free round of 64 that featured some brilliant chipping and long conversions.

The second play-off hole (on the 18th) turned out to be decisive after both players made birdies on the first. Both players landed their drives in the fairway bunker, but Sanjeev, searching for his maiden title, decided to lay up and was well short of the green.

An aggressive Dharma, on the other hand, went for the green with his second shot and landed just short of it.

While Sanjeev struggled thereafter as he hit it over the green, Dharma made an up and down for a birdie to capture his second title which was also his first since the 2013 Tata Open in Jamshedpur.

"My aggressive play really paid off for me today. I first went for the flag on the final hole in regulation as I knew I had to make an eagle to get into the play-off. I managed to do that. Then finally, I played my second shot on the decisive play-off hole for a win and again pulled it off," Dharma said.

Sanjeev posted his fourth top-5 and second runner-up finish of the season. He now occupies eighth place in the money list.

Delhi's Shamim Khan regained his lead in the Order of Merit thanks to his tied-third finish at 15-under-265 along with Kolkata's Viraj Madappa and Sri Lankan Mithun Perera.

Ahmedabad-based Udayan Mane conceded his lead in the Order of Merit and dropped to second place after finishing one shot behind Shamim in tied-sixth this week.

Delhi's Veer Ahlawat, the third round leader, also took a share of sixth place at 14-under-266.  

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