JAIPUR, Oct 2: Rookie Udayan Mane of the Eagleton Golf Resort, Bangalore, secured his maiden title in only his seventh professional event as he registered a memorable one-shot win at the PGTI Players Championship at Rambagh Golf Club here today.
Mane shot a three-under 67 in round four to end the week with a total of 16-under 264. Kolkata�s Shankar Das, who carded a four-under 66 in the final round, finished runner-up at 15-under-265.
Mane (61-69-67-67) took home the winner�s cheque of Rs 4,50,000 and thus climbed from 26th place to ninth position in the Rolex Rankings. He also went up from third place to first position in the Emerging Player of the Year race.
The 24-year-old, who was overnight second, produced his second straight 67 to seal the contest. Trailing by two shots after round three, he couldn�t have asked for a better start on the final day as he followed up a good wedge shot with a 10-feet birdie conversion on the first.
He then recovered well from the bunker on the eighth to gain another shot. A 15-feet birdie conversion on the 10th saw Mane emerge as a top contender for the title as he went two clear at the top.
Udayan had some anxious moments when he bogeyed the 15th after finding the hazard. However, the articulate golfer, who trains and practices along with the likes of Anirban Lahiri and Chikkarangappa at the Eagleton Golf Resort in Bangalore, came back well with a 12-feet birdie conversion on the 16th to all but wrap up the title.
Mane said, �I�m overjoyed with this victory considering the fact that I�ve achieved it in my rookie season. It�s special to win despite such a strong field and tough competition till the very end. I felt I focused well and kept up the intensity throughout. I was aware of the leaderboard but didn�t really let it bother me.
�My target at the start of the season was to finish inside the top-15 of the Rolex Rankings. I will now have to reassess my goals and look to aim higher.�
Om Prakash Chouhan (65) of Mhow and Bangalore�s C Muniyappa posted the day�s best score of 65 to finish at the third and fourth respectively at 14-under 266 and 13-under 267. He was joined by fellow Bangalorean Khalin Joshi (66) and Chandigarh�s Sujjan Singh (69) in tied fourth.
Sujjan Singh was in contention for the title till the 16th before he dropped consecutive bogeys on last two holes.
Abhijit Singh Chadha, the overnight leader by two shots, slipped to tied eighth (11-under-269) on the final day after returning a four-over 74. Delhi�s Shubham Narain bagged the trophy for best performance by an amateur as finishing tied 25th at five-under 275. Jaipur�s Vishal Singh was tied 34th at two-under 278. � PTI