Honey Baisoya wins J&K Open to end title drought

Baisoya totalled 18-under 270 for the week following his classy final round of four-under 68 at the Royal Springs Golf Course.

With the win, Baisoya ended a three-year drought and skyrocketed from 85th to 22nd place in the PGTI Order of Merit.   -  PTI

Delhi's Honey Baisoya on Saturday ended a three-year title drought by claiming a four-stroke win over Gurugram-based Veer Ahlawat at the J & K Open in Srinagar.

Six-time PGTI winner Baisoya (67-69-66-68), who was struggling for form through the season, totalled 18-under 270 for the week following his classy final round of four-under 68 at the Royal Springs Golf Course.

He skyrocketed from 85th to 22nd place in the PGTI Order of Merit.

Ahlawat (67-71-70-66) also made his presence felt in the last round with a score of 66 to finish second at 14-under 274 in the Rs. 40 lakh event.

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Patna's Aman Raj (68-71-70-66) too shot a 66 on day four to take the third place at 13-under 275.

Baisoya, the overnight leader by four shots, had a nervy start to the day as he made some tough par putts from five to six feet on the first six holes even as the likes of Angad Cheema and Kartik Sharma piled on the pressure on the leader with early birdies.

Baisoya almost found the hole with his chip on the seventh but eventually tapped in for his first birdie of the day.

A 20-feet birdie conversion followed on the ninth as he made the turn with a two-shot cushion.

He dropped his first bogey of the tournament when he three-putted on the 13th. That narrowed down his lead over Veer Ahlawat to just two shots.

Baisoya made a final push for victory with birdies on the 14th and 15th as a result of some long conversions thanks to his new putter.

The 25-year-old landed his approach from 134 yards to within a foot to set up another birdie on the 17th that all but sealed the deal for him.

"It still feels like a dream because till last week I was very low on confidence and not even sure of shooting an under-par score. So this win is all the more special," said Baisoya, who had just one top-20 from 10 starts in the season.

"Normally I'm a very aggressive player but with the confidence not being up there I tried to play more conservatively than I usually do. I used the 2-iron a lot and struck it to perfection all week.

"I also didn't make mistakes on the green like I had done in preceding events. The goal this week was to make the cut and I ended up winning. So it's still sinking in," added Baisoya, who took home the winner's cheque worth Rs. 6,46,600.

Ahlawat posted his second straight runner-up finish on the PGTI to move up from fifth to third in the Order of Merit.

Raj's 66 lifted him seven places to the third position. He made seven birdies and a bogey.

Om Prakash Chouhan (66) of Mhow and Panchkula's Angad Cheema (70) shared fourth place at 12-under 276.

Delhi's Chiragh Kumar (67) finished a further shot back in sixth place at 11-under 277.

Kolkata's Viraj Madappa shot the day's lowest score of 65 to secure tied seventh along with Kartik Sharma (72) of Gurugram at 10-under 278.

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Shravan Desai, who was overnight tied second, posted a career-best tied ninth at nine-under 279. Delhi's Rashid Khan, PGTI Order of Merit leader Karandeep Kochhar of Chandigarh and Delhi-based Kshitij Naveed Kaul were bunched in tied 12th at eight-under 280.

Pune-based Olympian Udayan Mane took tied 25th place at three-under 285 while Bengaluru's Chikkarangappa, the last winner at Royal Springs Golf Course, finished tied 32nd at one-under 287.

Jyoti Randhawa ended the week in tied 46th at five-over 293.

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