Bangladesh’s Md Zamal Hossain Mollah fired a sensational seven-under-63 on the final day and with an aggregate of 18-under-262 piped Delhi’s Honey Baisoya by a shot to win the Bengal Open Golf Championship here at Tollygunge Club on Friday
Delhi’s Honey Baisoya (64-64-65-70), the overnight leader by two shots, couldn’t replicate his form from the previous rounds as he shot a sedate 70 to settle for second place at 17-under-263 at the Rs. 30 lakh event.
The victory was all the more sweet for Zamal (68-69-62-63), who gained 11 places on the last day, as it happened to be his first in India and also brought an end to his painful seven-year winless streak on the TATA Steel PGTI.
The 34-year-old Bangladeshi , who had made a relatively slow start to the event with scores of 68 and 69 to languish at tied 39th at the halfway stage, came roaring back with remarkable bogey-free efforts of eight-under-62 and seven-under-63 over the next two days to clinch the title by one shot
Honey Baisoya seemed to be on course to his seventh title when he birdied the seventh and 10th to build a healthy three-shot lead. However, the leader from rounds two and three, had a forgettable 13thhole where he hit his drive out of bounds and as a result dropped a double-bogey there.
Baisoya, trailing Zamal by one going into the last hole, had his chance of taking the match into a playoff when he needed a 20-feet birdie conversion on the 18th. However, he missed by a whisker.
Zamal lying overnight 12th and six off the lead, didn’t look threatening in the early stages of round four as he managed just two birdies on the front-nine, both long conversions on the second and fifth. But his flurry of four consecutive birdies from the 10th to the 13th, thanks to a hot putter, put him firmly in contention.
The win at Tollygunge, Zamal’s first outside his country, has lifted him from 46th to sixth position in the TATA Steel PGTI Order of Merit as he took home a prize money cheque worth Rs. 4,84,950.
Mollah, who will now bag 5 Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points for his effort, is likely to make significant gains from his current 940th place in the world when the new rankings list is released on Monday, March 18.
Chandigarh’s Karandeep Kochhar (66) and Delhi’s Rashid Khan (68) took a share of third place at 16-under-264.
Shankar Das had the best finish among the Kolkata golfers. He ended tied seventh at 14-under-266.
Kolkata’s Sunit Chowrasia was tied 16th at 10-under-270 while his uncle SSP Chawrasia closed the week in tied 30th at five-under-275. Bengaluru’s Rahil Gangjee, who returned to his original home course, finished tied 27th at seven-under-273.
Gurugram-based Abhishek Kuhar made a hole-in-one on the eighth during his final round of 68. He claimed 29th place at six-under-274.
“It feels great to achieve my first PGTI win outside my home course and in India. I’m also delighted to have won on the PGTI after such a long gap. I was disappointed to lose out after coming close a few times in recent years. I feel my putting stroke is back and that will help me get better results in the near future” said Zamal after the win.