India's Jyoti Randhawa returned a fine seven-under in a bogey-free final round score of 65 to finish his campaign on a positive note in the 5th AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open here on Sunday.
The 47-year-old Randhawa, an eight-time winner on the Asian Tour, finished tied 17th for a four-day tournament total of 274 at the picturesque Heritage Golf Cup.
The 18-year-old Rasmus Hojgaard of Denmark kept his nerve in a tense three-way playoff to win the Euro 1 million tri-sanctioned tournament. Playing in only his fifth event on the European Tour, he holed a 10-foot eagle putt on the third playoff hole to win his maiden professional title.
With his dramatic triumph over fellow rookie Antoine Rozner of France and Italian Renato Paratore, Hojgaard became the third youngest winner in European Tour history after Matteo Manassero and Danny Lee. The three had shared the lead at the end of regulation play with a tournament total of 19-under.
"I'm at a loss for words. It's amazing and I'm over the moon. This is a dream come true for me," Hojgaard said after the third playoff in the tournament's five-year history.
As far as the Indians were concerned, the seasoned Randhawa was by far the best, having carded a brilliant 65 on the final day of the tournament co-sanctioned by the European, Asian and Sunshine Tours.
Randhawa was satisfied with his performance, the kind of which held out hope of better finishes in the coming weeks.
"Today everything came together, hit the ball well, hit my wedges very close, iron was really good. I could have done better with the driver but not complaining. Seven-under is seven-under, so it was a good round," Randhawa said.
Asked about his favourite shots on Sunday, he said, "My wedges on the ninth, on the 18th, I hit an eagle on the 14th (which is par five). I hit my irons really well, and that helped.
"This golf course is demanding. You have to hit good shots. You have to play really well."
At the closing stages of a frantic final round in which six players were tied for the lead at one point, Hojgaard birdied the last for a 68 and a place in a playoff with Rozner and Paratore on 19 under par.
Playing the par-five 18th again, Paratore fell out at the first playoff hole, and on the third the Dane made the eagle that secured him the title.
Abhijit Singh Chadha and Udayan Mane, who returned an impressive four-under in the final round, were tied 54th, while Viraj Madappa was tied 71st.
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