Mane prevails in playoffs

Udayan Mane pulled off a remarkable playoff victory over Veer Ahlawat at the Tata Steel PGTI Players’ Championship here on Friday. Bengaluru golfer S. Chikkarangappa and Mari Muthu tied for third with 270.

Mane was five shots off the top going into the fourth and final day, but the Pune-based golfer produced a final round of 6-under 66 to draw level with Ahlawat, the overnight leader, and force a playoff.

Mane triumphed on the second playoff hole to secure his 10th professional title and a third straight win on the PGTI, following his success at the Tata Steel Tour Championship 2019 and Golconda Masters 2020. Ashok Kumar is the only golfer to have won three on the trot previously, having achieved the feat in the PGTI’s inaugural 2006-07 season.

Unbelievable run

“This is turning out to be an unbelievable run for me,” Mane said later at the Eagleton Golf Resort.

“My hard work seems to be paying off. I feel I drove it better last week in Hyderabad, but this week I hit my approach shots, irons and wedges much better.”

Mane, who picked up a cheque for Rs. 4,84,950 to stretch his lead on the PGTI Order of Merit, felt playing on his former home course — Eagleton — had been an advantage.

“I began the day with the idea of making the most of my opportunities. With the crowd on my side and the familiar conditions at Eagleton, I felt I had the momentum. Once in the playoff, I knew what it would take to win at this venue, having seen quite a few playoffs in the past,” he said.

Top scores (after final round):

268: Udayan Mane (68, 67, 67, 66), Veer Ahlawat (67, 65, 65, 71); 270: S. Chikkarangappa (67, 69, 67, 67), Mari Muthu (68, 67, 66, 69); 271: Khalin Joshi (69, 64, 72, 66); 275: Aman Raj (65, 67, 67, 76); 276: Mukesh Kumar (72, 69, 67, 68); 277: Gaurav Pratap Singh (70, 64, 70, 73).

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