Local favourite Gaurav Pratap Singh ends long wait for second PGTI title with playoff victory at Delhi-NCR Open 2023 -

Local favourite Gaurav Pratap Singh ends long wait for second PGTI title with playoff victory at Delhi-NCR Open 2023

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Karan Pratap Singh finishes a career-best second

Khel Today Bureau 

Noida: Noida’s Gaurav Pratap Singh ended a 14-year-long wait for his second PGTI title with his playoff victory at the Rs. 1 crore Delhi-NCR Open 2023 played at the Noida Golf Course.

The 38-year-old Gaurav (35-68-70-71), playing at his home course, put up a solid final round performance of one-under 71 before prevailing in a playoff against Faridabad’s Karan Pratap Singh (34-71-70-69).

Gaurav Pratap Singh.

Gaurav and Karan had earlier posted identical totals of eight-under 244 in regulation play to force a playoff.

The 22-year-old Karan, who turned pro in 2019, secured a career-best runner-up finish.

Chandigarh’s Harendra Gupta (69) and Greater Noida’s Sudhir Sharma (71) claimed tied third place at seven-under 245. Bangladesh’s Badal Hossain fired the day’s best 68 to take fifth place at six-under 246.

Gaurav Pratap Singh, who was overnight second and one shot behind leader Shamim Khan, picked up birdies on the first and sixth courtesy some great wedge shots. Gaurav, who was struggling with his short-game in round three, turned around his chipping and putting form on day four making a number of crucial chip-putts for par after dropping a bogey on the 11th. Singh produced a terrific bunker shot on the 16th to set up an important tap-in for par.

On the playoff hole, Gaurav made a two-putt from 25 feet for par while his opponent Karan Pratap Singh missed a two-putt from 40 feet for par. Gaurav thus bagged his fourth professional title and second win on the PGTI. He also has two wins on the PGTI Feeder Tour. Gaurav’s winning cheque of Rs. 15,00,000 propelled him from 22nd to fourth place in the TATA Steel PGTI Rankings.

Gaurav, who had also won his previous PGTI title at the Noida Golf Course in 2009, said, “It’s been a long time since I won so it almost seems to me like my first win. I’ve been through a lot of ups and downs over the last few years but I’m pleased to have got the win under my belt at last. Playing at one’s home course is always an advantage but I didn’t think too much about that and played like I would’ve at any other course. It was great to win in the presence of my family.

“While coming down the stretch I did feel some pressure with couple of drives landing on the left but my short-game was the saving grace for me on those occasions. I kept my calm, focussed on my short-game as I knew that I had to make a lot of par putts. I didn’t hit it well on the last 4 holes so the chip-putts were crucial there.

“On the playoff hole, the wind kept switching so I was aware that hitting a 3-wood could land my shot in the water hazard, therefore I hit my 2-iron short of the water in order to find the green in two shots and give myself a birdie opportunity.

“I came close to winning a lot of times in the recent past but somehow could not close it. However, I never gave up and kept working hard. Consistency and trying to put myself in contention every time has finally paid off for me.”

Karan Pratap Singh, who was in good ball-striking form through the week, landed it very close to the pins on the final day. Karan’s last round featured seven birdies and four bogeys. He made it to the playoff with birdies on the last two holes. Karan’s runner-up cheque of Rs. 10,00,000 lifted him from 12th to sixth place in the TATA Steel PGTI Rankings.

Round three leader Shamim Khan of Delhi shot a fourth round of 78 to slip to tied 11th at two-under 250 on Friday.

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