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Ashok's quest ends with whimper, Buhrmann wins Aamby Valley Masters

Written by: Staff

Mumbai, May 14 (UNI) Form deserted Ashok Kumar when it mattered most and after staying on top for three days, the caddie-turned-pro shot a horrendous six over 78 to finish a disappointing fifth at the inaugural 400,000 dollar Aamby Valley Asian Masters here today.

Meanwhile overnight joint leader, South African veteran Hendrik Buhrmann returned one under 71 and pipped Simon Hurd of England by two strokes for the 63,400 dollar winner's cheque.

Among other Indians, Rahil Gangjee and Gaurav Ghei both finished tied ninth with two under 286 on aggregate. Rahul Ganapathy floundered with a four under 76 card and finished tied 16th with an even par 288.

Amandeep Johl sizzled with a three under 69 to end up tied 18 with one over 289.

Among the also rans were Gurbaaz Mann (292), SSP Chowrasia (292), C Muniyappa (293), Ali Sher (295), Firoz Ali (295), Vikrant Chopra (295), Harinder Gupta (296), Uttam Mundy (296), Shiv Prakash (298), Ranjit Singh (298) and Digvijay Singh (300).

However, it was a heartbreak for Ashok Kumar who was right there in the contention after the front nine. But ghosts of the green took over and a nightmarish back nine with three bogeys and two double bogeys proved to be his undoing as he finished four over 284 with seven strokes off the pace.

''It was very disappointing on the final day. I thought I played good golf for three days and even after the front nine I was very much in there. But what really got me was the bogey on the par-five 12 th. From there I just kept slipping,'' he said later.

''One of the big letdowns over the last two days was my putting.

I need to work on that a lot. Still I would say I am happy that I got myself into a position to take a shot at the win. I am sure I will win soon,'' Ashok added.

It all started with an ominous double bogey on the second hole but Ashok did well to recover and gained a stroke on the fourth. He went on to hit consecutive birdies on the seventh and eighth to end the front nine in black.

No sooner than he made the turn, his fortune took a U-turn and Ashok hit back to back birdies on the 12th and 13th.

But the worst was yet to come and all hopes of recovery were effectively put to rest by a double bogey on 16th tee. He dropped another stroke on the 17th and, as if summing up his quest for title which started with a bang and ended up in whimper, signed off with yet another double bogey.

The day, however, belonged to the 42-year-old Buhrmann carded a final round of one-under-par 71 for a winning total of 11-under-par 277 at the Aamby Valley Golf Club. Simon Hurd had to settle with a second spot while Australian Terry Pilkadaris finished third.

Tied for the overnight lead with Hurd and Kumar, Buhrmann battled gamely under tough and windy conditions. At the end, it was a par save on the seventh, a par five, and a superb eagle on the 12th which proved crucial.

Leading final round scores 277 - Hendrik Buhrmann (RSA) 66-75-65-71 279 - Simon Hurd (ENG) 67-70-69-73 280 - Terry Pilkadaris (AUS) 72-71-67-70 283 - Marcus Both (AUS) 70-71-70-72 284 - Garth Mulroy (RSA) 74-68-70-72, Simon Griffiths (ENG) 68-72-67-77, Kane Webber (AUS) 69-74-66-75, Ashok Kumar (IND) 67-66-73-78 286 - Anthony Brown (AUS) 73-71-73-69, Rahil Gangjee (IND) 73-69-74-70, Gaurav Ghei (IND) 74-69-68-75 287 - Bryan Saltus (USA) 71-70-76-70, Michael Wright (AUS) 71-77-69-70, Craig Warren (AUS) 73-75-68-71, Keith Horne (RSA) 68-75-72-72 288 - Anthony Kang (USA) 74-74-69-71, Rahul Ganapathy (IND) 74-69-69-76 289 - Amandeep Johl (IND) 71-75-74-69, Darren Griff (CAN) 73-71-70-75, Barry Hume (SCO) 70-72-72-75 290 - Jason King (AUS) 71-72-76-71, Yasin Ali (ENG) 71-72-71-76 291 - Iain Steel (MAS) 72-72-69-78 UNI XC DH VC1852

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