Chiragh Kumar shoots 71 to post maiden professional win

Gurgaon: Chiragh Kumar of Delhi won his maiden professional title carding a tenacious 71 in the final round of the PGTI Players Championship.

Chiragh totaled 10-under 278 for the tournament at the Golden Greens Golf and Country Club.

Mukesh Kumar of Mhow and Bangalore`s R Srinivas shared the second place after carding 74 and 72 respectively in the final round to end with identical totals of seven-under 281.

Ashok Kumar finished fourth at five-under 283, while Vinod Kumar was a further stroke behind in fifth place.

Sujjan Singh`s 69 was the best round of the day and helped him finish in tied eighth at even-par 288.

Chiragh put up a resolute performance on an overcast day that witnessed just eight-under par scores to post his breakthrough win on the Aircel PGTI.

The 26-year-old had his task cut out at the start of the round as he was tied for the lead along with the old warhorse Mukesh Kumar, the winner of 11 titles on the Aircel PGTI.

Chiragh made a steady start as he made eight pars and a birdie on the front nine. The Delhi golfer produced an extraordinary tee shot on the par-three eighth which hit the flag and set up an easy birdie.

Mukesh at the same time was a little inconsistent as he made three birdies, a bogey and a double bogey to be level par for the day at the turn.

Chiragh hung in there on the back nine with some great driving and fantastic iron-play.

The bogey on the 13th was a minor setback for Chiragh since Mukesh got back to the top of the leaderboard at the end of the 15th hole, thanks to three birdies that negated the effect of his double bogey on the 14th.

Mukesh then started missing fairways and dropped bogeys on the last three holes, while Chiragh raised his game in time to birdie the final hole and bag his first professional title.

The 2006 Asian Games silver medalist sealed it with the help of an amazing third shot on the 18th that landed within three feet of the pin.

"It feels great to win my first title. The victory is yet to sink in. I was concentrating on playing to the best of my ability through the day and did not think too much about winning or losing," said Chiragh, who has climbed from 30th position to 11th place in the Rolex Rankings, still headed by Mukesh.