Thangaraja lifts 2nd Ctg Open title

Bangladesh’s Sajib Ali finishes fifth

Staff Correspondent | Published: 00:05, Mar 25,2018 | Updated: 23:45, Mar 24,2018

 
 

Sri Lankan golfer N Thangaraja (R) receives the trophy of the second City Bank American Express Chittagong Open at the Bhatiary Golf & Country Club in Chittagong on Saturday. — Courtesy photo

Sri Lankan golfer N Thangaraja lifted the title of the Tk 50 lakh second City Bank American Express Chittagong Open when he carded a classic six-under-par 66 in the fourth round at the Bhatiary Golf & Country Club on Saturday.
With the title, Thangaraja, the overnight leader by two shots, also bagged his third PGTI title as he ended the week with a record total of 22-under-par 266.
India’s Veer Ahlawat carded a three-under-par 69 on the final day to finish runners-up with 16-under-par 272.
Among the Bangladeshi golfers, Md Sajib Ali had the best finish as he clinched fifth place with a total of 11-under-par 277.
Sajib ended the fourth round with one-over-par 73.
Thangaraja, who was in contention in the last two PGTI events before slipping on the final day on both occasions, managed to set the record straight this time around.
The 36-year-old golfer didn’t look in any trouble from the very start as he sank birdies on the third and sixth holes to extend his lead to three shots on the front-nine.
He then went on to tighten his grip on the title with four more birdies on the back-nine. Thangaraja thus signed off with a bogey-free effort.
Thangaraja, who won his first PGTI title after a gap of three years, has now moved up from 11th to first position on the PGTI Order of Merit.
Incidentally, the Lankan’s 22-under-par266 total is the lowest ever winning score achieved at the BGCC.
The previous best was Bangladesh’s Siddikur Rahman’s 16-under-par 272 at the inaugural City Bank American Express Chittagong Open last year.
‘I’m just delighted that I kept my focus and got the job done unlike the previous two events where I missed out on converting my opportunities in the final stages. It’s great to win a title after such a long gap and that too with my best ever four-round total of 22-under,’ said Thangaraja, whose 66 was the day’s joint best score.
‘This really lifts my confidence for the rest of the season. I’m glad that I’ve come back well after recovering from my knee injury.
‘I really enjoyed playing at the BGCC and look forward to coming back to this top-class venue next year,’ added Thangaraja, who now has three top-5 finishes from five starts in the 2018 PGTI season.
Ahlawat, who was overnight third, fired a last round 69 to gain one position and claim second place.
He had a promising start with two birdies on the first three holes but thereafter could manage only three more birdies at the expense of two bogeys.
Ahlawat’s fourth top-10 in his fifth event this season took him from 16th to second position on the PGTI Order of Merit.
India’s Aman Raj, lying second after the third round, slipped out of contention early on the final day when he made a quadruple bogey on the second.
He then fought back with six birdies against two bogeys to put up a 72 on the board and end up in third place.

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