Golf : Varun Parikh clinches maiden title, wins Kapil Dev – Grant Thornton Invitational with dominating display

.Harpal Singh Bedi

Gurugram: For Ahmedabad’s Varun Parikh it turned out to be of special Navratri gift as he returned five -under 67 on the final day and with a total of 11-under 277 clinched Rs. 1 crore Kapil Dev – Grant Thornton Invitational by five-shot at the DLF Golf & Country Club here on Friday..

This was the maiden title for 24-year-old Parikh (73-70-67-67), and this triumph earned him a prize money cheque worth Rs. 15,00,000 that lifted him from 28th to fourth position in the PGTI Order of Merit.

Gurugram-based Manu Gandas (74-66-73-69), playing at his home course, took second place at six-under 282 after a final round of 69. He thus moved up from third to second place in the PGTI’s merit list.

Kartik Sharma (71-67-72-74), another player from the DLF Golf & Country Club, shot a last round of 74 to finish third at four-under 284.

Varun Parikh made a nervous start dropping two bogeys in exchange for a birdie on his first three holes. Thereafter, Parikh’s round took off as his gameplan of hitting 3-wood off the tee instead of driver, paid off. He sank six birdies from the fourth through the 18th which included four long conversions including a mammoth 70-footer on the 11th.

Varun said, “I just followed my gameplan from the range itself. I was a little nervous and a little shaky to begin with to be honest. My goal was not to make birdies, it was just to make pars, so after the third hole, I didn’t make a bogey. Initially the pressure got to me a little bit but after that I held myself together really well.

“I’m just really happy to cross the line, it’s been a long time coming. I’m now looking forward to more wins this season.”

Varun was presented the winner’s jacket by Indian cricket legend Mr. M S Dhoni. The champion was presented the trophy by another Indian cricket legend and tournament host Mr. Kapil Dev and Mr. Vishesh C Chandiok, CEO, Grant Thornton Bharat.

Earlier in the day, M S Dhoni and Kapil Dev teed off in a special fourball.


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