During the penultimate round of the Take Solutions Masters $3,00,000 Asian Tour event in Bengaluru, Chandigarh golfer Ajeetesh Sandhu was grouped with compatriot Shiv Kapur. Sandhu fired a third round score of four-under-68 to set up his final round score of six-under-66, which included seven birdies, to finish third in the event on Sunday, his best result on the Asian Tour since 2011. This also meant that Sandhu has now climbed to the 58th spot in the Asian Order of Merit with total earnings of $24,430.
“I was grouped with Shiv in the third round and he told me after the third round that I was playing well. The conditions at KGA, Bengaluru, are challenging and it’s not a wide course. My strength has been hitting the ball straight and it helped me to hit seven birdies in the last round. My putting helped me in these conditions. Six players out of the top 10 in the Asian Order of Merit were playing in the tournament and to finish third in the event will give me a lot of confidence,” shared Sandhu, who turned professional in 2008.
Sandhu’s best finish before the Bengaluru event had come in the 2011 Sail Open at home soil before he saw a slump in form. The Chandigarh golfer played in 16 and 15 tournaments in the Asian Tour in 2012 and 2013 without a top-10 finish in the tour. Last year, Sandhu won the Golconda Masters in Hyderabad before defending his title again in Hyderabad in February this year. This year has also seen him playing in the Japan Tour, a decision which meant that he only played two tournaments in the Asian Tour. Having played in only four tournaments in the last 18 months in the Asian tour, Sandhu now plans to play in most of the tournaments in the Asian Tour this season.
“Jeev Milkha Singh has played a lot on the Japan Tour and whenever we meet, I consult with him. I wanted to play on the Japan Tour and playing there has helped my game. I had a top-10 finish in June in Japan. I will be playing in the Mercuries Taiwan Masters, Manilla Masters, UBS Hong Kong Open apart from playing in the Indian Open. Getting top-10 finishes in these tournaments will be a challenge but I am ready to maintain consistency,” added Sandhu.
Sandhu trains under coach Jesse Grewal and the latter believes that a top-three finish would give the youngster a momentum. “Ajeetesh has been on a revival in his career and he is one of best technically sound golfers in India as well on the Asian Tour. Playing in the Japan Tour has helped him and this will also help him ahead of the Indian Open later this year,” said Grewal.