KOLKATA : Gurugram’s Manu Gandas continued his dominant form in the 2022 TATA Steel PGTI season with a record sixth win of the year in the inaugural SSP Chawrasia Invitational presented by TAKE, a Rs 1 crore event, played at Royal Calcutta Golf Club (RCGC).

Manu’s sensational win (69-66-72-68), also his seventh career win, came after he posted a solid four-under 68 in round four that saw him finish with a total of 13-under 275. As a result, Gandas, defeated the golf giant’s challenge India and playing partners Anirban Lahiri and Gaganjeet Bhullar who finished second and third respectively.

Gandas’ win in the final event of the season earned him a winning check worth Rs 15,00,000 and helped him rise from second to first place in the TATA Steel PGTI Ranking and established a significant lead as his season earnings rose to Rs 80,78,938.

Anirban Lahiri (71-65-71-70), who is the combined third-round leader along with Manu, finished runner-up at 11-under 277 after his last round with 70.

Gaganjeet Bhullar (69-72-67-71) produced a final round of 71 to take third place on nine under 279.

Tournament host SSP Chawrasia finished 21st with three-over 291. He holds the highest position among the Kolkata-based professionals.

Yuvraj Singh Sandhu of Chandigarh secured 25th place with four over 292 and as a result slipped from 1st to 2nd place on the TATA Steel PGTI Rankings. Yuvraj’s season earnings stand at Rs 68, 47, 768 as he now trails Gandas by more than Rs. 12 lakh going into next week’s season finale event.

Manu Gandas started with some good up and down birdies on the first and fourth as Anirban Lahiri made up for that by also birding on both holes. Manu then started to get away with two more birdies on the fifth and ninth where he hit putts from seven to 12 feet.

After both top challengers birdied at the 12th, the turning point came at the 13th where Anirban dropped a double-bogey forfeiting greens and his chip-putt while Manu hit a brilliant par-save with a superb chip that resulted in a tap. -in. Gandas took a comfortable five-shot lead with a birdie in the 15th minute. Manu finally closed out the day with bogeys on the 17th and 18th but still managed to get ahead of Lahiri, who birdied the 17th, by two strokes.

Manu said, “I’m happy to perform the way I want. It’s great to have my sixth win of the season which is a record in PGTI but I just want to keep doing what I do well and not think about records too much. I’m sticking to the plan me all week and converted a lot of chances, so it was a satisfying performance.My drives and nipples are protruding this week.

“It has been an unforgettable experience to play alongside two of India’s biggest names in golf, Anirban and Gaganjeet. They have played on some of the most elite courses in the world. But today I didn’t really think about who I was playing with. Instead I just focused on controlling my own game. and I did well.”

Gaganjeet Bhullar took three birdies over the first 10 holes to keep himself in the hunt. He then dropped out of contention after trading three bogeys for birdies between the 12th and 18th.

The SSP Chawrasia Invitational, the final full court event of the season, determines the top 60 who earn exemption from the PGTI for next season and also qualify for the season-ending TATA Baja Tour Championship in Jamshedpur next week. The season finale event will feature limited pitches.

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