Indian golfer Mukesh Kumar of Mhow produced a bogey-free five-under 67 in the fourth and final round to clinch the PGTI Cochin Masters title, here today.
Mukesh thus gave his preparations for next week's Panasonic Open in Japan a major boost. It was a record 19th PGTI win for Mukesh and his second in Kochi after 2015. He aggregated 12-under-276 at the CIAL Golf Club.
Sri Lankan Anura Rohana claimed the runner-up spot at 11 -under-277 after his final round of two-under-70 at the Rs. 40 lakh event.
Mukesh (70-68-71-67), lying overnight tied third and two off the lead, fired two birdies on the first six holes followed by an astonishing par-save on the seventh where he recovered from the water hazard and sank a 20-footer.
He began closing the gap with leader Rohana on the back- nine. He landed his approach shots within two feet on both the 10th and 13th to make birdies and thus take a share of the lead. Kumar went ahead when Anura dropped a bogey on the 14th.
The winner of over 120 titles finally sealed it with a birdie on the 16th followed by an excellent par-save from over the green on the par-3 17th. Mukesh's 67 also happened to be the day's best score.
Mukesh, also a winner on the Asian Tour, said, "I was quite confident from the start of the round. I knew I play better when I'm not in the leader group as the pressure is less and one doesn't think too much about the leaderboard.
"When I landed it in the water hazard on the seventh but still managed to save par from 20 feet, I knew it could be my day. After making birdie on the 13th I realized that I was tied for the lead with Anura. That spurred me on as I attacked the pins and went on to make another birdie on the 16th.
"I was quite upset at missing the cut last year after winning in 2015. I was therefore eager to win this year. This win will now encourage me to raise my game further at next week's Panasonic Open in Japan," said Mukesh, who won his last title at the Asian Tour's Panasonic Open India in December.
Mukesh, who took home the winner's cheque worth Rs. 6 lakh, has now climbed from 11th to fourth position in the PGTI Order of Merit.
Mukesh, who is currently 51 years and eight months of age, also broke his own record of being the oldest player to win on the PGTI. He set the record with his last win on the PGTI in October 2016 when he was 51 years and two months old.
Chandigarh's Harendra Gupta, the other overnight joint leader, ended the week in third place at nine-under-279 after his final round of 72.
Om Prakash Chouhan (68) of Mhow clinched fourth place at seven-under-281. Last year's champion Feroz Ali Mollah (73) of Kolkata finished tied 23rd at two-over-290.
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