Vishal Singh wins Aircel-PGTI Players Championship title


Mumbai: Jaipur-based golfer Vishal Singh claimed his first professional title when he posted a one-under-par 52 in the final round of the Aircel-PGTI Players Championship here Saturday as he finished with a total of 10 under-149.

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Mukesh Kumar and Shamim Khan were tied second with an identical total of eight under 151.

Vishal (47, 50, 52) made full use of his overnight two-stroke lead and came up with a steady but solid performance in round three. Vishal’s win at Mumbai has earned him the distinction of becoming the first-ever golfer from Jaipur to have won a professional event. He took home the winner’s cheque of Rs.4,84,950.

Vishal did not get off to an ideal start as he made bogey on the second but he soon made up with birdies on the third and fourth. He drove the green on the third and fourth, both par four holes. The 37-year-old sank an incredible 20 feet putt for birdie on the 12th.

Vishal suffered a minor setback when he missed an up and down from the bunker to drop a bogey on the 13th. However, he made pars all the way till the 18th to seal the title with a two-stroke margin even as his nearest rivals Mukesh Kumar, Shamim Khan and Randhir Singh Ghotra failed to catch up with him.

“It’s an amazing feeling to win my first professional title. I have had some good results this season but this win has definitely taken my confidence to another level. I have worked very hard on my game recently and all that hard-work seems to be paying-off now.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Lt. Gen. Himmat Singh from the Rambagh Golf Club, Jaipur, who has given me a lot of support and encouragement throughout my professional career,” said Vishal, who has now climbed from 43rd to 20th place on the Aircel-PGTI Order of Merit for 2009.

“My hitting was excellent through the week and I also fared well with the putter. I had some excellent moments today which included driving the greens on two par four holes, the third and fourth. The 20 feet putt for birdie on the 12th also came at a crucial stage,” he added.

Mukesh Kumar (49, 51, 51) of Mhow and Delhi’s Shamim Khan (49, 50, 52) were joint second with totals of eight under 151. While Mukesh made five birdies against three bogeys for his 51 on the final day, Shamim sank two birdies and dropped a lone bogey for his round of 52.

Rahul Ganapathy and Harendra Gupta shared fourth place at seven under-152.