Dec 25, 2016: Delhi’s Rashid Khan bagged the coveted Rolex Player of the Year title after finishing runner-up at 12-under-276 thanks to a sedate final round of 72 at the season-ending event.
Rashid topped the 2016 Rolex Ranking with season’s earnings of Rs. 44,79,880.
It all went according to script for Thailand’s Pariya Junhasavasdikul as he drove home the overnight two-shot advantage with an unwavering final round of one-under-71 to win the McLeod Russel Tour Championship 2016, PGTI’s year-ending event worth Rs. 1.5 crore, by a comfortable three-shot margin at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club (RCGC) on Sunday.
Pariya, the wire-to-wire winner, who ended up with a tournament tally of 15-under-273, became the first foreign player to win the McLeod Russel Tour Championship, which saw the culmination of the landmark 10th PGTI season.
As a result of his outstanding 63, Shamim grabbed second place in the Rolex Ranking with earnings of Rs. 41,16,458.
Patna-based rookie Aman Raj took a share of 10th place at four-under-284. He thus finished on top in the PGTI Emerging Player of the Year race with the highest earnings among the rookies (Rs. 10,34,427).
Pariya (66-68-68-71), the overnight leader by two shots, was quick off the blocks as he birdied the first hole for the fourth successive day thanks to a 30-feet conversion.
The two-time Asian Tour winner’s putter was on fire through the front-nine as he picked up two more strokes on the second and sixth, one from 20 feet and the other from 40 feet, to open up a mammoth seven-shot lead.
The three bogeys thereafter which came at the expense of just one birdie courtesy some erratic tee shots couldn’t do any damage to Pariya’s prospects as all the others struggled to catch up with him.
The 32-year-old finally signed off with a 71 after his chip on the final hole hit the flag stick in dramatic fashion and set up a two-foot par putt.
Rashid Khan’s (70-64-70-72) title hopes were dashed early when he dropped two double-bogeys and a bogey on the first seven holes.
However, he made a valiant comeback with five birdies thereafter that helped him secure the runner-up spot and the Rolex Player of the Year title.
The 25-year-old, who had suffered some injuries midway through the year, capped his impressive season with two wins, three runner-up finishes and three other top-10s from just eight starts.
He posted a top-10 in every event he played on the PGTI this year.
Shamim Khan matches course record of 63 to be tied third; Rookie Aman Raj is Emerging Player of the Year
Shamim Khan mastered the greens on Sunday as he chipped-in for birdie on the sixth and sank five birdie putts from a range of 25 to 45 feet during his round of nine-under-63 that equaled Rashid Khan, Arjun Atwal and Edwart Fraytt’s previous course record. It helped him claim tied third place at the event and second position in the money list.
Gaganjeet Bhullar (69) and Kolkata’s SSP Chawrasia (71) also took a share of third place, five shots behind the winner.
Jyoti Randhawa came in sixth at nine-under-279 after firing a top-class 66 in round four.
Aman Raj (71) finished joint 10th at four-under-284 to win the Emerging Player of the Year title.
He finished number one in earnings among the rookies ahead of Veer Ahlawat of Gurgaon who was leading the standings coming into this week. Ahlawat finished tied 42nd at the season-ender.
Shubhankar Sharma, the money list leader coming into this event, posted a disappointing 76 in round four to also end up in tied 10th. He thus slipped in the Rolex Ranking from first to third.
Shiv Kapur ended tied 15th at two-under-286 while Kolkata’s Rahil Gangjee and Bengaluru’s Chikkarangappa, last year’s McLeod Russel Tour Championship and Rolex Ranking winner, were both tied 23rd at one-over-289.
Mukesh Kumar secured tied 26th at two-over-290 and Kolkata’s Arjun Atwal claimed tied 36th at six-over-294. Jeev Milkha Singh closed the week in 50th place at 11-over-299.
PGTI Tour Release