Khalin Joshi clinches Panasonic Open title

Becomes the seventh Indian champion in eight editions of the event.

Coronation time: Khalin Joshi with his trophy. Photo: Special Arrangement

It was coronation time for Khalin Joshi as a first-time winner on the Asian Tour. Playing aggressively, like never before, the 26-year-old scripted a dramatic rally to win the USD 400,000 Panasonic
Open here.

A large Sunday crowd at the Delhi Golf Club course gave a thunderous ovation to the 26-year-old as he sank a birdie from about seven feet to overtake Siddikur Rahman for a record-equalling winning score of 17-under 271, worth USD 72,000.

Siddikur finishes runner-up

Siddikur, who led for the better part of the final day, could not stop the resurgence of fellow overnight leader Joshi, who fired four birdies on the final five holes, including the last two. The Bangladesh pro collected USD 44,000 for his third runner-up finish in the event.

Having bogeyed the first and third holes, Joshi picked up strokes on the eighth and 10th holes, and then made his charge with four late birdies for a 68. Rahman, whose lone bogey came on the 13th, birdied the 15th and 17th before missing the crucial 10-foot birdie-putt on the 18th.

Ajeetesh Sandhu, whose putting let him down at crucial moments, and first-day Thai leader Suradit Yongcharoenchai shot a 70 and a 69 to share the third spot. They received USD 22,600 each.

Seventh Indian champion

For the record, the Bengaluru-based Joshi became the seventh Indian champion in eight editions of this premier event. With this success, Joshi joined the list of 25 Indians who have so far accounted for 87 international titles.

“I wanted to stay aggressive and that paid off. On the 18th tee, I knew that I had some advantage since Siddikur was not carrying his driver this week. Even my six-iron approach-shot from 213 yards to the pin was good but I was surprised as the ball ran away past the flag. In the end, it was great to get that winning putt from six-seven feet,” said the champion, who clenched his fist and stood on one foot in celebration, as ball fell into the cup.

The scores (Indians unless stated)

271 - Khalin Joshi (71, 68, 64, 68); 272 - Siddikur Rahman (Ban) (67, 66, 70, 69), 274 - Suradit Yongcharoenchai (Tha), (66, 67, 72, 69) and Ajeetesh Sandhu (67, 67, 70, 70); 275 - Aman Raj (70, 68, 68, 69); 276 - Jazz Janewattananond (Tha) (68, 67, 73, 68), Kshitij Naveed Kaul
(72, 66, 70, 68) and Matt Stieger (Aus) (70, 69, 68, 69).

Other Indians in top-25:

278 - Mukesh Kumar (71, 67, 72, 68) and M. Dharma (70, 67, 70, 71); 280 - Karandeep Kochhar (69, 76, 67, 68) and Sachin Baisoya (70, 70, 67, 73); 281 - Kapil Kumar (69, 72, 71, 69); 282 - Om Prakash Chauhan (72, 74, 68, 68), Tapy Ghai (67, 72, 72, 71) and S. Chikkarangappa (71, 69, 71, 71); 283 - Shiv Kapur (70, 70, 71, 72) and Chiragh Kumar (72, 71, 68, 72).

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