Harpal Singh Bedi
Noida: In-form Manu Gandas carded four-under 68 in the last round to win the Delhi-NCR Open by four-stroke at the Noida Golf Course on Friday.
Md Zamal Hossain Mollah (66-70-69-68) of Bangladesh finished runner-up at 15-under 273 as a result of his last round of 68. It was Zamal’s second straight runner-up finish following his second spot at Chandigarh last week. Mollah thus climbed from 10th to fifth place in the PGTI Order of Merit.
Noida’s Amardeep Malik, who began the day with an eagle on the first for the early lead, dropped out of contention after making three bogeys and a double-bogey over the next 12 holes where he missed a few fairways. Malik added another birdie and bogey on the last five holes to post a 75 and finish third at 12-under 276.
Vikrant Chopra (70), another Noida-based professional, took fourth place at 10-under 278.
Arjun Prasad and rookie Sunhit Bishnoi fired the day’s best score of 67. While Arjun finished tied 12th at six-under 282, Sunhit ended tied 33rd at even-par 288.
In the searing heat Manu (65-69-67-68) totalled 19-under 269 for the week to record his third career victory which was also his second of the 2022 season. The 26-year-old Manu picked up the winning cheque worth Rs. 6,46,600 to move up from fifth to third position in the TATA Steel PGTI Order of Merit.
Manu the overnight joint leader along with Amardeep Malik, slipped two shots behind after the latter made an eagle with a 15-feet conversion on the opening hole. However, he soon gained the sole lead with birdies on the third, fourth and eighth where he too sank some long putts even as Amardeep dropped shots on the fourth and seventh where he struggled with his hitting.
Manu, enjoying a three-shot lead at the turn, built further on his lead on the back-nine claiming birdies with two more long conversions on the 13th and 14th. His only bogey of the day came on the 16th but didn’t have much of an impact on the game situation as Gandas was already on his way to a comfortable win.
Manu said, ““I played all 18 holes in the same manner and with the same mindset taking each shot at a time. I didn’t see the scoreboard too often but I knew I had a good cushion on the back-nine so I just focused on my process and the things I had done well through the week.
“My driving was good for most part of the week, so that too helped me put up low numbers.”
Md Zamal Hossain Mollah, also playing in the leader group along with Gandas and Malik, had four birdies and two bogeys through 16 holes. Zamal then jumped into second position with his eagle on the par-5 17th where he landed his second shot within three feet of the pin.