Bengaluru: The last round of the Bengaluru Open Golf Championship was billed as a shootout between two of the brightest prospects on the Indian golfing horizon, Ahmedabad-based 26-year-old Udayan Mane and Delhi’s 21-year-old Honey Baisoya, and that is exactly what it turned out to be.
The huge galleries at the Karnataka Golf Association (KGA) course were witness to a fascinating duel on Saturday as neither of the two contenders was in the mood to yield an inch to the other. Finally, it was Udayan Mane (68), who prevailed by one shot at the Rs. 1 crore PGTI event for his third title of the season, as Honey Baisoya (71) missed a two feet par putt on the last hole. Mane totaled 20-under-268 for the week while Baisoya’s tally read 19-under-269.
The burly Udayan bagged a winning cheque of Rs. 15 lakh to move up from second to first in the PGTI Order of Merit as his season’s earnings went up to Rs. 36,58,851. With his tournament tally of 20-under-268, Mane also broke Bengaluru lad Chikkarangappa’s previous 72-hole course record of 13-under-275, set during last year’s TAKE Open.
Mane (69-65-66-68), who trailed Baisoya (67-64-67-71) by two shots at the start of round four, kept pace with the leader in the initial stages as both players drained birdies on the first two holes. Udayan finally came into the joint lead when he picked up another stroke on the sixth while Honey dropped a bogey on the seventh. Mane’s errant drive on the ninth resulted in a bogey and saw him drop back to second. While both players birdied the 11th, Udayan restored parity with a 15-feet birdie conversion on the 12th.
After both contenders made pars on the next five holes a playoff looked imminent. But there was a final twist on the 18th. Mane recovered extremely well from a tough position between the trees and extracted a par with a quality up and down. However, Baisoya, who was also in the rough after his first shot, found the green in three, but then missed the all-important two feet par putt that handed Udayan his fifth career title.
Chandigarh’s Harendra Gupta (67) took the third spot at 17-under-271 while Bengaluru golfers Khalin Joshi (66) and Rahil Gangjee (67) shared fourth place at 14-under-274. Gangjee signed off with an eagle on the last hole. Bengaluru’s M Dharma was tied for sixth along with Delhi golfers Himmat Singh Rai and Shamim Khan at 13-under-275. Chikkarangappa, another Bengalurean, finished tied 13th at eight-under-280.