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Ashok Kumar takes honours

By Our Sports Reporter

NOIDA, JUNE 4. Ashok Kumar capped a fantastic season for himself with a memorable final round of seven-under-par 65 as he cruised to win the title by four strokes in the PGAI-TSM Open tournament at the Noida Golf Course here on Friday.

Trailing by four strokes, Ashok played attacking golf throughout leaving the leader-group gasping. A bit tentative on the first six holes Ashok pulled his driver out and swung it in right direction to record the best round of the season-ending Rs. 28 lakh event.

Ashok aggregated 17-under 271 to grab the fattest cheque of the season, the winner's prize of Rs. 4,53,600. The win assured Ashok his maiden season-ending No. 1 position on the Order of Merit.

Mukesh Kumar, who sat on the top position for four seasons, had to settle for the second position, both at this event and on the Order of Merit. Mukesh missed a 15-feet uphill birdie putt, on the par-4 18th, and had to settle for a joint second position with Rafiq Ali. Both pocketed Rs. 2,45,000 for their effort.

When Ashok finished his round for a card of 65, there was no doubt about the winner. Overnight leader, Shiv Shankar Prasad Chowrasia, who a memorable three days, repeatedly strayed into the woods to post an embarrassing 77.

"I had to be aggressive to erase that four-stroke cushion Chowrasia held after the third round. Though the wind blew forcibly, I kept my driver and swing in position and the result was there,'' said Ashok Kumar.

The scores: Ashok Kumar (70, 66, 70, 65) 271; Mukesh Kumar (69, 69, 68, 69) and Rafiq Ali (69, 66, 71, 69) 275; Feroz Ali (70, 70, 67, 71) and Harmeet Kahlon (69, 68, 69, 72) 278; Gaurav Ghei (72, 68, 68, 71), Digvijay Singh (67, 66, 75, 71) and S.S.P. Chowrasia (66, 66, 70, 77) 279; Gurbaaz Mann (67, 71, 70, 72) and Uttam Singh Mundy (67, 70, 71, 72) 280; C. Muniyappa (74, 69, 72, 68) 283; Arjun Singh (70, 73, 72, 69) and Ranjit Singh (72, 69, 71, 72) 284; D.S. Raghuvanshi (70, 74, 75, 68), Naman Dawar (72, 73, 72, 70), Shamim Khan (68, 69, 76, 74) and Amit Dube (68, 72, 70, 77) 287; Gast Ram (72, 74, 75, 67), Indrajit Bhalotia (68, 72, 74, 74) and Vijay Kumar (72, 75, 66, 75) 288.

Amateurs: Simarjeet Singh (73, 73, 71, 72) and Jasjeet Singh (73, 71, 69, 76) 289; Anitya Chand (73, 71, 76, 76) 296; V.S. Gautam (73, 74, 77, 79) 303.

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