Gangjee earns him Asian Tour card; Chopra and Rashid miss out
Hua Hin (Thailand): Faced with the prospect of having no International Tour card to play with, Rahil Gangjee turned in a stunning finish with four birdies in last five holes to finish at five-under in the Final Stage of the Asian tour Qualifying School and at tied 21st he earned full playing privileges on the Asian Tour for 2013.
While Gangjee was ecstatic, there was heartbreak for Vikrant Chopra, who missed by one shot, and Rashid Khan, who dropped down with a triple bogey on the final hole.
Chopra (73) at tied 42nd at three-under, Ajeetesh Sandhu (71), Rashid (72) at two-under and tied 51st, Chiragh Kumar (72) at one-over and tied 77th and Abhijit Chadha (76) at eight-over in 107th missed making the card but will be eligible to play the Asian Development Tour, which also grants world ranking points from this year.
The ADT has more than a dozen events with top-five making the full card for the following year.
Chan Kim (65), who started the day at tied 18th, topped the field of the Final Stage at 13-under 272 as he played the final round in a six-under 65. Richard Lee (74) was second at 273 while Tim Stewart (69) was third at 274.
The event was played over two courses at Springfield and Imperial. The final round was held at Springfield.
Gangjee, one-under for three rounds, and needing a good final round to make the top-40, opened with a birdie, but bogeys on ninth and tenth and then pars on next three meant he was almost out of the race.
He was just one-under and way off the top-40 when he came to the 14th tee. But he pulled back strongly from there as he birdied the par-3 15th and from then was on fire. He birdied the 14th, the 15th and the 16th.
He parred the 17th and was well inside the top-40 at that stage, but for good measure he birdied the final hole to for a day`s work of three-under 68.
However, there was heartbreak for Rashid, who had the card and a top-40 place well within his grasp when he came to the 18th. He was two-under for the day and four-under for the tournament and inside the top-40.
But he struck disaster as he ended with a triple bogey on the par-5 18th and dropped to two-under for four rounds and ended in tied 51st.