Sujjan Singh scores first title win outside India in Indonesia
Pasuruan (Indonesia): Sujjan Singh completed a start-to-finish victory with an even-par 72 at the Taman Dayu Championship and immediately dedicated his win to his new-born daughter on Saturday.
Sujjan, starting the day with a 10-shot advantage was never threatened as he cruised to his first victory outside of India with a 22-under-par 266 total at the majestic Taman Dayu Golf and Resort here.
Sujjan, who hit the headlines with tied fifth at the Avantha Masters last year, became the first Indian to win on the Asian Development Tour, the second rung Tour in Asia.
This year on Asian Tour, Sujjan has made four cuts in nine starts with tied 27th at the Panasonic Open as his best.
Ajeetesh Sandhu shot 71 in the final round to finish tied 31st at one-under 287.
Australians Michael Moore and Anthony Choat battled to a 66 and 68 respectively to share second place with Filipino veteran Antonio Lascuna (68) on 272, six shots adrift of Sujjan, at the inaugural Asian Development Tour (ADT) event.
"I dedicate my win to my new born daughter Serena and also to my sister. I just welcomed a baby girl in May and you start to feel that golf is not everything. That kind of eases the pressure and it worked for me this week," said Sujjan, whose wife, Irina Brar, was a former India No. 1 woman golfer.
It was a relatively quiet final round for Sujjan compared to his previous days` scores of 64, 63 and 67 as he returned with two birdies and one double bogey on the par four 10th hole when his approach shot to the green got plugged in the greenside bunker.
"I had to concentrate on my own game which was much harder because I was struggling with my ball striking. I missed a lot of fairways and this course will get tougher when you do that. I was still happy with the way I hung in there. I think my short game was fantastic," said the 31-year-old Sujjan, who played on a sponsor`s invitation.
"I`ve been working really hard for a long time. It is good to know my game is heading in a positive direction. I hope this is the first of many. I didn`t make it easy on myself and I know it wasn`t going to be easy winning outside of India. It is a little bit extra special when the win is abroad," Sujjan added.
Playing on the same flight as Sujjan, Choat, who has been playing on the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) for the last four years, admitted that it was a tough task of chasing Sujjan`s lead.
"I wanted to make a lot of birdies but I got off to a slow start. When we started making birdies on the back nine, we could see that the pressure was getting to him (Sujjan). He still had a huge lead so it was in his advantage," said Choat.
"It was good fun. He played really well and defended his lead. I was just trying to concentrate on my own game but it was always going to be a big task to run down the lead," added the Australian.
Filipino Lascuna, who equalled the course record of 63 in the third round, was delighted with his finish where he birdied the last hole in front of a cheering crowd.