Joshi Makes Breakthrough Win at Panasonic Open India
India’s Khalin Joshi produced a dramatic finish when he fired four birdies in his closing five holes to sign for a four-under-par 68 and clinch his maiden Asian Tour title by one shot at the US$400,000 Panasonic Open India on Sunday.
Despite dropping two bogeys in this opening three holes, the 26-year-old Joshi withstood stifling pressure to bounce back with six birdies on his way home, including a seven-footer on the last to hold off the challenge of Bangladeshi Siddikur Rahman, at the Delhi Golf Club.
Joshi, who held a share of the overnight one-shot lead thanks to a superb third-round 64, would match the lowest winning score of the tournament with his four-day total of 17-under-par 271 in the event, which celebrated its eighth edition on the Asian Tour this week.
Joshi said, “I have no words honestly. It’s a huge monkey off my back. I think I played really well. Kept my nerves and played really solid coming in. The last four holes were key for me. Like all night I was thinking about the 16th hole tee shot because that tee shot has haunted me for awhile now.
“I am really relieved and really happy. I don’t know if it was nerves but just poor decision making I guess, starting off with two bogeys. But I still knew that there was a lot of golf to be played. I was playing well and it was just a matter of time.
“The birdie I made on eighth gave me a lot of confidence that I am not very far away and I got to keep sticking to my game plan, I got to keep playing aggressive. That’s all I did. Then again, I hit the driver on 18th and I played very aggressive and that’s what paid off.
“Winning my first Asian Tour event here means the world to me. Winning anyway was great but winning at Delhi Golf club was unbelievable. All the spectators and crowd over here were very supportive. I have a bunch of friends over here, it means a lot and hopefully, I gave them a good show.”
Delhi expert Siddikur fell short of his title bid after missing a 10-footer birdie putt on the last to settle for a par and a closing 69. He ended the week in second place on his own to mark his best result so far this season.
“I played better than I did yesterday actually. Khalin played really well coming down the stretch but I thought I did well too. Overall, it wasn’t bad. I am very happy with my result and I am proud of myself that I am able to put up a good fight for the title,” said Siddikur.
Young Thai talent Suradit Yongcharoenchai and Ajeetesh Sandhu of India shared third place on 274 following respective rounds of 69 and 70 while Aman Raj, also of India, recorded his career-best result on the Asian Tour after carding a 69 to settle a further shot back in fifth.
Joshi will take home a winner’s prize purse of US$72,000 courtesy of his victory, which saw him become the fifth Indian to win on the region’s premier Tour this season. He is also the 13th player to win for the first time on the Asian Tour in 2018.
The Panasonic Open India is sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) and is the second leg of the 2018/19 Panasonic Swing, which is an aggregate points race that spans five events – in Thailand, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Japan.
Scores after round 4 of the Panasonic Open India being played at the par 72, 6935 Yards Delhi GC course (am – denotes amateur):
271 – Khalin Joshi (IND) 71-68-64-68.
272 – Siddikur Rahman (BAN) 67-66-70-69.
274 – Suradit Yongcharoenchai (THA) 66-67-72-69, Ajeetesh Sandhu (IND) 67-67-70-70.
275 – Aman Raj (IND) 70-68-68-69.
276 – Jazz Janewattananond (THA) 68-67-73-68, Kshitij Naveed Kaul (IND) 72-66-70-68, Matt Stieger (AUS) 70-69-68-69.
277 – Settee Prakongvech (THA) 70-67-70-70.
278 – Jack Harrison (ENG) 69-68-74-67, Mukesh Kumar (IND) 71-67-72-68, Steven Jeffress (AUS) 71-71-68-68, M. Dharma (IND) 70-67-70-71, Yutaka Araki (JPN) 70-67-70-71.
280 – Karandeep Kochhar (IND) 69-76-67-68, Sachin Baisoya (IND) 70-70-67-73.
281 – Kapil Kumar (IND) 69-72-71-69, Peradol Panyathanasedh (THA) 68-74-70-69.
282 – Om Prakash Chouhan (IND) 72-74-68-68, Mithun Perera (LKA) 73-72-68-69, Tapy Ghai (IND) 67-72-72-71, Prom Meesawat (THA) 71-69-71-71, Chikkarangappa S. (IND) 71-69-71-71.
283 – Shiv Kapur (IND) 70-70-71-72, Chiragh Kumar (IND) 72-71-68-72, Jbe Kruger (RSA) 71-70-68-74.
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