Kolkata: He met with a career threatening motorcycle accident and what followed was a spate of injuries as he could play eight PGTI Tour events this year but that did not stop Rashid Khan from winning the PGTI Order of Merit for Rolex Rankings here today.
The 25-year-old from Delhi finished runner-up at the PGTI year-ending McLeod Russel Tour Championship 2016 with a 12-under 276 (70-64-70-72) at the Royal Calcutta Golf Course en route to bagging the coveted Rolex Player of the Year title for a second time.
"It was a terrible phase. I was out of golf for more than a month with injuries all over my hands. I was dying to be back but was helpless. It took a lot of physical and mental toughness to hit the course and back on winning ways. I was kind of more determined," Khan said after winning his second Order of Merit since 2013.
Khan was placed fourth behind leader Shubhankar Sharma, Shamim Khan and Khalin Joshi but a sizzling eight-under in round two took him to the lead spot with Thailand's Pariya Junhasavasdikul who won the tournament by a three-shot margin.
Khan slipped one position to second after mixing four birdies with two bogeys yesterday before finishing with a final round of 72 to win the Order of Merit with season's earnings of Rs 44,79,880.
Recalling that fateful day in June, he said: "I was on my way home walking and a friend offered me a ride and the accident took place."
He made a comeback winning an event in Sri Lanka, and winning two PGTI event this year -- the TAKE Solutions Classic 2016 in Noida in August and the Ahmedabad Masters in September.
But he was still continued to be dogged by injuries and sickness.
"I sprained my wrist and there was a food poisoning. Undoubtedly, this will always remain very special. It could not have been better," Khan said in all smiles with the PGTI Order of Merit baize.
The season could not have ended in a better way as besides winning two he also had runner-up finishes in three events.
"The focus will now to do well in Asian Tours," he signed off.
Overall, Pariya drove home the overnight two-shot advantage with an unwavering final round of one-under-71 to win the Championship, PGTI?s year-ending event worth Rs. 1.5 crore, by a comfortable three-shot margin.
He ended up with a tournament tally of 15-under-273 to become the first foreign player to win the McLeod Russel Tour Championship, which saw the culmination of the landmark 10th PGTI season.
Shamim Khan of Delhi matched the course record with his phenomenal last round of nine-under-63 to finish tied third along with Gaganjeet Bhullar and local favourite SSP Chawrasia at 10-under-278.
As a result of his outstanding 63, Shamim grabbed second place in the Rolex Ranking with earnings of Rs 41,16,458.
Patna-based rookie Aman Raj took a share of 10th place at four-under-284. He thus finished on top in the PGTI Emerging Player of the Year race with the highest earnings among the rookies (Rs 10,34,427).