Comfortable victory for Shamim

Shamim Khan showed his consistency to score an even par final round and win the Kolkata Classic championship by five strokes at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club (RCGC) course here on Friday.

Shamim Khan (centre) with the winner's trophy at the Kolkata Classic championship on Friday.   -  Special Arrangement

Shamim Khan showed his consistency to score an even par final round and win the Kolkata Classic championship by five strokes at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club (RCGC) course here on Friday. Overnight leader Shamim gathered a four round total of 10-under 278 to record his first victory at the RCGC and one of the biggest at the venue.

Shamim claimed the winner's purse of Rs 6 lakh from his 13th victory in a career spanning 18 years. He also jumped from fourth to the top place on the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) Order of Merit. Two-time Indian Open winner S.S.P. Chowrasia came a distant second after managing a two-under 70 for an aggregate of 283.

Even as most of the pros witnessed a fluctuating fortune, Shamim stood firm with his solid game – relying heavily on chipping and putting. The 38-year-old improved his driving to find 10 fairways and picked up birdies on second, 10th and 15th holes. His most spectacular putt came on the 10th, where he sank from about 25 feet.

Shamim missed some short putts to bogey on sixth, seventh and 17th. He was a tad unlucky to see a 25-foot birdie putt lip out on the 18th green. However, he had almost secured the title by that time. “Since Mukesh (overnight second) was not doing so well, I had no pressure. I have always played well at the RCGC and am happy to win my first title here,” said Shamim.

Mukesh, who had seven bogeys against three birdies, ended at tied fourth following his final round of 76. Chowrasia, who hit a double bogey and an eagle for a two-under card in another inconsistent round, could not make an impact despite improving his position from joint-fifth.

The scores:

278: Shamim Khan (70, 68, 68, 72)

283: S.S.P. Chowrasia (71, 70, 72, 70)

284: Shankar Das (71, 73, 68,72)

285: Om Prakash Chouhan (69, 74, 71, 71), Sujjan Singh (70, 71, 73, 71) and Mukesh Kumar (69, 68, 72, 76)

286: Harendra Gupta (70, 74, 71, 71), Mithun Perera (70, 72, 70, 74) and Gaurav Pratap Singh (70, 72, 71, 73)

287: Mohammad Sanju (71, 75, 70, 71) and Feroz Singh Garewal (69, 73, 73, 72).