Kolkata, Feb 5 : Veteran Mukesh Kumar showed that he has not lost touch as he cruised to a six-stroke win at the Aircel-PGTI Players Championship presented by Tollygunge Club here Friday.
The Mhow professional carded a steady two under 68 in the final round for a total of 12-under 268. Manav Jaini came in second at six under 274. Jaini posted a one over 71 in round four.
Mukesh Kumar (65, 69, 66, 68) thus earned the winner's cheque worth Rs. 6,46,600 and climbed to the top of the Rolex Rankings (Order of Merit). This victory also earned him his ninth title on the Aircel-PGTI.
Mukesh, who was already three strokes ahead at the start of the day, further strengthened his position by making pars on the first six holes and a birdie on the seventh.
Mukesh kept it going on the back nine as he made some top-class par saves on the 11th and 13th and added another birdie on the 15th even as his nearest rivals struggled to catch up with him.
The 44-year-old professional from Mhow sank a 15-footer for an excellent par save on the 13th. He then hit his nine iron second shot to within one foot of the pin for birdie on the 15th to all but seal the title.
Manav Jaini (67, 67, 69, 71) finished second at six under 274. His final round of 71 included two birdies and three bogeys. Jaini dropped bogeys on the fifth and sixth but recovered to some extent with birdies on the eighth and 13th. However, Mukesh had virtually run away with the title by then. Jaini went on to bogey the 15th and then hung in there to finish second with pars on the last three holes.
Ashok Kumar, Om Prakash Chouhan and Anthony Choat were tied third with identical totals of four under 276.
Harmeet Kahlon, Vinod Kumar, Shiv Prakash and Kolkata's Feroz Ali Mollah were a further stroke behind in tied sixth.(IANS)
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