Jaipur, October 2, 2015: Rookie Udayan Mane of the Eagleton Golf Resort,
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 in Jaipur. 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.
Udayan Mane (61-69-67-67) put together some solid performances at the pristine Rambagh Golf Club over the week to join the winners circle on the PGTI. The burly Bangalorean who stands well over six-feet in height, kept his composure in the face of stiff competition from the more experienced players such as Shankar Das, Sujjan Singh and Abhijit Singh Chadha, to come home the winner on Friday.
The 24-year-old Mane took home the winner’s cheque worth 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.
Mane, who was overnight second, produced his second straight 67 in round four to seal the contest. Udayan, trailing by two shots after round three, 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.
“I dedicate this win to my parents Mr. Satish Mane and Mrs. Sujata Mane as well as to my coach Mr. Vijay Divecha. I also dedicate the win to all the rookies on the PGTI, who I feel, will now believe they can win too.
“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.”
Shankar Das (61-69-69-66) shot a bogey-free 66 on day four to finish second. He chipped-in for birdie on the third and thereafter made some good chip-putt birdies. However, he also missed out on some short putts. Had Shankar converted his 10-foot birdie putt on the final hole, he would’ve joined Udayan in a playoff. But he missed the pin by a whisker.
Om Prakash Chouhan of Mhow came in third at 14-under-266 thanks to a final round of 65, the day’s joint best score.
Sujjan was in contention for the title till the 16th before he dropped consecutive bogeys on the last two holes.
Jaipur’s Vishal Singh was tied 34th at two-under-278.
Photo caption: Udayan Mane receives the winning cheque from Mr. Giriraj Singh, Captain, Rambagh Golf Club (left) and Mr. Rajiv Gandhi, Secretary, Rambagh Golf Club (right)