Coimbatore, Aug 23 (UNI) Ace golfer Digvijay Singh bagged his first title on the PGTI with a memorable win at the Players Championship at Golf Club here today.
Digvijay's one over 73 in the final round took his tournament total to five under 283 and helped him finish one stroke ahead of Rahul Ganapathy.
Digvijay, who was placed second on the PGTI Order of Merit before the tournament here, has now climbed to first position on the PGTI Order of Merit for 2007-08. This was also his 12th professional win.
Rahul Ganapathy fired two over 74 on the final day to finish as the runner-up with a total of four under 284. Shamim Khan was a further three strokes behind in third place. He carded 73 in the fourth round.
Digvijay's (68, 69, 73, 73) triumph here not only enabled him to win his first title on the PGTI but also helped him register his first professional win in two years.
Digvijay, who was the sole leader in the first two rounds and the joint leader in the third round, fired three birdies and four bogeys to come out trumps on a day when the tough conditions tested one and all.
The fourth round saw the lead changing hands a few times between the joint leaders of the third round, Vijay Kumar, Rahul Ganapathy and Digvijay Singh.
Digvijay had a disappointing start as he bogeyed the first, third, fourth and fifth. He struggled with his putting during this passage of play, having made three-putts on the third, fourth and fifth. A picked up a stroke with a birdie on the ninth and made the turn at three over.
From then on the Gurgaon-based professional put up a solid display. He had a near-flawless back nine that featured seven pars and two birdies on the 15th and 18th. Digvijay turned the tide in his favour with a 15 feet putt for birdie on the 15th and a 20 feet putt for birdie on the 18th.
''It was a very satisfying day for me. A win has been long overdue since I have been knocking on the doors of victory for quite some time. I am glad that I have finally posted a win after a long gap of two years,'' said Digvijay, who has also been the runner-up in two PGTI events in the 2007-08 season.
''I think the turning point today was my birdie on the 15th.
I took the lead at that point as Rahul Ganapathy made a bogey on the same hole. Rahul was the leader till then and was looking really strong. After the 15th, I tried to keep the ball in play and focused on hitting the fairways and greens. The pressure then fell back on Rahul and as a result the momentum swung towards me,'' he added.
Rahul Ganapathy (71, 69, 70, 74) on the other hand, had a more consistent round. He dropped a bogey on the first hole and another one on the seventh before picking up a birdie on the ninth.
The Mysore golfer led for a major part of the back nine, until he bogeyed the 15th, where he hit his tee shot into the trees on the left.
Shamim Khan (71, 77, 66, 73) totaled one under 287 to finish third. His final round 73 included birdies on the fifth, sixth, 13th, 15th, 18th and bogeys on the second, third, fourth, eighth, 16th and 17th.
Chennai's Darshan Veeraraghavan (77, 82, 84, 77) was the winner of the amateur title. Veeraraghavan had the same total of 32 over 320 as another amateur, Coimbatore's Vignesh Ranga Rao, but won the amateur crown on a countback of the basis of the last 36 holes.
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