Udayan Mane reignites season with victory

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Gurugram, Mar 19 (PTI) Pune's Udayan Mane, who had been struggling to find his A game since the resumption of the tour in November last year, finally reignited his season with a two-shot victory at the Prometheus School Presents Delhi-NCR Open Golf Championship here on Friday.

The 30-year-old Mane clinched his 11th title on the PGTI after he totalled 14-under-274 to prevail by two strokes at the Rs 30 lakh event.

Mane's third title of the 2020-21 PGTI season will help him make a big push up the world rankings from his current 320th position and as a result also boost his chances in the Tokyo Olympics qualification race.

Gurugram-based Shivendra Singh Sisodia, playing at his home course, secured a career-best tied second place at 12-under-276 after a sensational birdie-eagle finish on the last two holes to put up a score of 66.

Bengaluru's Chikkarangappa (68) and Patna's Aman Raj (69) also took a share of the second place.

Chandigarh's Karandeep Kochhar (67) claimed fifth place at 11-under-277 to maintain his lead in the PGTI Order of Merit.

Sandeep Singh of Sri Ganganagar, Rajasthan, shot the day's best score of seven-under-65 to finish tied ninth at eight-under-280.

Mane (71-67-67-69), the overnight leader by one shot, had a hot start to the day with two birdies on the first three holes, which saw him play a couple of good wedge shots. He then made some good putts which didn't roll in but he still hung on to his lead.

On the par-5 18th, Mane sank a crucial 10-feet birdie putt to seal the deal even as his playing partner Aman Raj missed his eagle putt from the same distance.

The win is a shot in the arm for the big-built Mane, who will now earn five world ranking points and go past Rashid Khan (ranked 311 at the moment) to become the highest-ranked Indian when the latest Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) list is released on Monday.

Shivendra Singh Sisodia (71-71-68-66), known for driving it long, was exceptional with his iron-play and approach shots on Friday.

Shivendra, who was overnight tied eighth and five off the lead, collected three birdies over the first 12 holes before signing off in style with birdie-eagle on the last two holes. PTI AH SSC SSC