24 November 2018: Shamim Khan used his experience to full effect to trump a determined Gaurav Pratap Singh on the third hole of a playoff at the Digboi Golf Links. The wily veteran had slipped into a tie with Gaurav after carding a final round two over 74 against the 70 shot by his rival. Harendra Gupta got into the race with back to back birdies at the 14th and 15th, but could only manage three pars from there to finish in third place.
In an intensely engaging final round, Gaurav showed great composure under duress, firing five birdies over the final six holes to put himself in contention for the title.
Meanwhile, Shamim Khan ceded ground over the final stretch when he made a bogey at the 17th hole. It came on the heels of a birdie at the previous hole, but it was his fourth bogey of the round.
“I feel the more experienced player always has the advantage in a playoff. In a playoff one also feels much less pressure if your ball is even slightly closer to the pin than your opponent’s. Both these factors worked in my favour today,” said Shamim.
“However, I feel the match actually swung in my favour when I made those five consecutive birdies late in the third round. That brought me back into the game from a hopeless position and really lifted my confidence,” added Khan, who was seven shots off the lead at the halfway stage.
“This win comes as a huge relief for me as I’ve been struggling with an upper back injury since the start of the second half of the season. The injury has improved slightly but still gives me trouble. I’ve somehow played through it as the upper back isn’t much of a factor in golf.
“With this win I can look forward to steady progress in the money list over the remaining three events of the season.”
Gaurav was two over for the day when he reached the eleventh tee, but he produced some spectacular golf from there to join Shamim and force the playoff.
Rajeev Kumar Jatiwal (70), Ashbeer Saini (71), Om Prakash Chouhan (75), Mohammad Sanju (76) were tied in sixth place at 3-under 285. Veer Ahlawat and Sanjeev Kumar rounded off the top ten.
Shamim moved inside the top ten on the PGTI Order of Merit, with his first victory and seventh top ten of the 2018 season.