Chennai Open Golf: Manu Gandas marches to 4-shot victory with dazzling final day show

Gurugram’s Manu Gandas marched to a convincing four-shot victory with a dazzling final day performance of five-under 67 at the Chennai Open 2022 golf championship here on Friday.

Gandas totaled 20-under 268 for the week at the Rs. 40 lakh event to lift his fourth PGTI trophy and bag a cheque of Rs. 6,00,000. The 26-year-old from the DLF Golf & Country Club, Gurugram, thus further consolidated his position at the third spot on the PGTI Order of Merit.

Sri Lanka’s N. Thangaraja took second place at 16-under 272 following his final round effort of 72.

The hot and humid conditions in the morning were once again followed by overcast conditions with a gentle breeze in the afternoon.

Manu Gandas (68-65-68-67), lying overnight second, one shot off the lead, began the final day in ideal fashion with a chip-in birdie on the first hole. Gandas then cut out the errors and kept himself in play to make pars all the way till the eighth. Manu added his second birdie on the ninth where he rolled in a 10-footer after a poor chip.

On the back nine, Gandas missed some ups and downs but managed to extend his lead with some excellent putting, making birdie conversions from a range of 20 to 30 feet on the 13th and 16th holes. Gandas finally found the par-5 18th green in two and two-putted for a closing birdie to capture his third title of the year.

Gandas said, “The most important things for me over the last one year have been identifying my shortcomings and the consistency with which I’ve followed my processes. Importantly, I took a month off from the game during the mid-season break to fully recover from my injuries and that really helped in the end.

“My driving and tee shots were the best aspect of my game this week. Today my wedge shots were not great but they kept me in play. I did well with the longer putts in the final round. I didn’t look at the leaderboard on day four but instead just focused on my target which was a total of 20-under. I finally managed to achieve it.”

Thangaraja (66-67-67-72), the overnight leader by one shot, made a poor start with three bogeys on the front nine but came roaring back with three birdies on the back nine to claim the second position.

Bengaluru’s Khalin Joshi (‘8) and Chandigarh’s Abhijit Singh Chadha (71) took tied third place at 15-under 273 while Karandeep Kochhar (70), another Chandigarh-based pro, finished a further shot back to take fifth place.

The two Chennai-based professionals, Sandeep Syal and S. Prasanth finished tied 49th at five-over 293 and tied 52nd at seven-over 295 respectively.

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