Udayan Mane sets new PTGI record, bags TATA Steel Tour

(Photo Srikanta Sharma R)

Pune-based Udayan Mane produced a flawless seven-under 65 on the final day to claim a thrilling one-shot win at the season-ending TATA Steel Tour Championship here on Sunday.

Mane's (67-66-64-65) determined final round effort of seven-under-65 saw him establish a new PGTI record for the lowest tournament total as he closed the week with a jaw-dropping 26-under-262 at the Golmuri Golf Course.

It was Mane's eighth professional title and his second win on the PGTI this season. The impressive winning cheque worth Rs. 22,50,000 catapulted Mane from ninth to third place in the Final PGTI Order of Merit for 2019.

Kolkata-based Indian star SSP Chawrasia (63-67-65-68), who was leading by two shots till the 14th hole, carded a 68 on day four and thus had to settle for second place with another outstanding total score of 25-under-263.

Aman Raj (71) of Patna, the third-round leader, ended the week in tied third place at 23-under-265 along with Delhi's Chiragh Kumar (67).

Mane, lying overnight fourth and three off the lead, made early gains on Sunday when he sank birdie-eagle on the third and fourth to raise his title hopes.

The 6-foot-4-inch tall burly golfer drove the green on the par-4 fourth before knocking in a 24 feet putt.

Mane made further inroads with birdies on the seventh and 11th thanks to his accurate iron-play. He had a quiet period over the next five holes before making the all-important birdie conversion from 10 feet on the 17th that helped him draw level for the lead with Chawrasia.

Mane, playing in the penultimate group, finally surged ahead with a chip-putt birdie on the 18th for an error-free 65 to set the mark at 26-under.

Four-time European Tour winner Chawrasia, playing in the leader group, needed a 12-feet birdie conversion on the last hole to take the match into a playoff.

But Chawrasia missed and Mane clinched the trophy with a record total that eclipsed the previous best PGTI tournament total of 24-under fired by Anirban Lahiri (Aamby Valley, 2010), Shubhankar Sharma (Eagleton, 2016) and Rashid Khan (Chittagong, 2019).

An ecstatic Mane, said, "I'm pretty pleased with the entire season having registered two wins. I started the year well but then had a rocky road from March to September. But that lean phase helped me learn a lot about myself and my golf swing and that in turn led to my better performances late in the year at Kensville (PGTI) and in Mauritius (Asian Tour).

"The biggest takeaway from this victory is that I won a tournament which had an elite field and at a time when so many players were playing their best golf. That is a big morale-booster."

Sri Lankan N Thangaraja (71) took fifth place at 22-under-266.

Faridabad's Abhinav Lohan shot the day's best round of 64 to end up in tied 13th at 15-under-273.

Indian star Gaganjeet Bhullar was placed tied 31st at 11-under-277. The two other Indian legends in the field, Jeev Milkha Singh and Jyoti Randhawa, finished tied 39th with matching totals of 10-under-278.

Jamshedpur's Karan Taunk took tied 71st place at eight-over-296.

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