November 13, 2020 1:40:15 pm
Two years ago, Chandigarh golfer Karandeep Kochhar had missed out on winning his maiden professional title, with a play-off loss against Bengaluru golfer S Chikkarangappa, in the Jeev Milkha Singh Invitational at Chandigarh Golf Club (CGC).
On Thursday, 21-year-old Kochhar kept his cool to card a round of three-under-69 and overall score of 18-under-270 to win his maiden professional title in the form of PGTI Players Championship at CGC by disposing off a spirited show by Kolkata golfer Sunit Chowrasia, who shot a course record of ten-under-62.
“Even though it has come after a long time, winning my first professional title at my home course is indeed very special. While I had some close finishes in the PGTI Tour, including some misses at Chandigarh Golf Club, the win has reinforced my belief in my game plan. Having the four-shot lead, I was playing a bit safely and was little nervous between the ninth and the 15th hole. I got to know about Sunit’s course record on the 16th tee and but the birdies on the 16th and the 17th hole put me on course to win my first professional title. The key for me was having lots of patience and that’s what worked well for me,” said Kochhar, who was watched by grandparents Dr GS Kochhar and Dr Kanwarji Kochhar and parents Sandeep Kochhar and Reshma Kochhar.
While professional golf in India had resumed in the form of the PGTI Players Championship presented by Panchkula Golf Club last week, Kochhar’s win has meant that the three winners in the last three PGTI tournaments has been from Chandigarh with Aadil Bedi winning the Bengal Open in March and Akshay Sharma winning last week. Kochhar, who had planned to play in the Asian Tour Q-School early this year, but cancelled the plans due to the spike in Covid-19 cases abroad, spent the time in lockdown on his fitness as well working on technical changes. “It was a tough choice to miss the Asian Tour Q-School. While the courses opened within 40-45 days of lockdown, I spent the time improving my fitness and working out on some adjustments under my coach Jesse Grewal. Winning a title after these months has come like a refreshing moment for us all,” said Kochhar, who pocketed Rs 4,84,950 for the win.
In 2016, Kochhar had become the youngest Indian amateur golfer to win a PGTI Tour title with his win in Kolkata, bettering Shubhankar Sharma’s then record of 17 years and eight months by four months.
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