Kochhar shatters record with sensational win

Kochhar, who had scores of 66 and 68 in first two rounds, collected nine birdies, including five on the back nine, against a bogey on par-three eighth hole to outshine several seasoned professionals and become the first Indian amateur to win a PGTI event.

Karandeep Kocchar PGTI golf

Karandeep Kochhar with the winner's trophy and best amateur trophy.   -  Special Arrangement

Karandeep Kochhar carded the best round of the tournament, a sensational eight-under 62, in the third and final round to record a total of 14-under 196 and ensure a comfortable three-stroke victory in the PGTI Players’ Championship at the Tollygunge Club course here on Friday.

Kochhar, with two junior titles under his belt this year, became the first Indian amateur to win a PGTI event. Bangladesh’s Mohammad Zamal Hossain Mollah was the only other player to have won a PGTI tournament as an amateur.

On a rainy day, the Chandigarh boy rewrote another record by becoming the youngest player to win a PGTI event at 17 years and five months, erasing Shubhankar Sharma's feat of winning in Kochi in 2014 at 17 years and eight months.

Kochhar, who had scores of 66 and 68 in first two rounds, collected nine birdies, including five on the back nine, against a bogey on par-three eighth hole to outshine several seasoned professionals, including Digvijay Singh, the leader in first two rounds.

Kochhar, who had won a junior event here last week, displayed some fabulous drives on 14th, 15th and 16th holes, resulting in birdies. His 15-footer on 16th spoke a lot about his confidence. “It’s unbelievable, will do wonders to my self-belief. It has set me thinking about the right time to turn professional," he said.

Om Prakash Chouhan was second with an error-free round of six-under 64 and an aggregate of 199. He bagged Rs. 4.5 lakh for being the best professional.

The scores: Karandeep Kochhar (A) (66, 68, 62) 196; Om Prakash Chouhan (68, 67, 64) 199; Khalin Joshi (67, 65, 68) and Digvijay Singh (63, 67, 70) 200; M. Dharma (69, 69, 64) and Shamim Khan (71, 67, 64) 202; Mohd. Zamal Hossain Mollah (68, 70, 65) and Shankar Das (67, 67, 69) 203.