18 March 2022: The last day of the TATA Steel PGTI Players Championship 2022 presented by Tollygunge Club was nothing short of sensational.
Twenty-five-year-old Yuvraj Singh Sandhu’s gritty last round display of four-under 66 that featured a final flourish with an eagle-two on the 16th and a 35-feet birdie conversion on the 18th helped him prevail in a thriller as he recorded the lowest winning total of 21-under 259 at the Tollygunge Club to earn his second title.
Chandigarh-based Yuvraj (67-65-61-66), the third round leader by three shots, was given a scare by Kolkata’s Viraj Madappa (64-70-62-64), who shot the day’s joint best score of 64, before he finished runner-up at 20-under 260.
Sandhu’s victory, his second in four months, lifted him from 23rd to second place in the PGTI Order of Merit after he picked up the winning cheque worth Rs. 8,08,250.
Rahil Gangjee, originally from Kolkata now based in Bengaluru, secured third place at 17-under 263 following his final round of 66.
Twenty-four-year-old Viraj Madappa, who was overnight tied second and three off the lead, had turned the tables early on Friday with six birdies over the first 13 holes with all aspects of his game coming together. At that stage, Madappa, a winner on the Asian Tour, enjoyed a three-shot lead over Sandhu.
After Viraj dropped a bogey on the 14th and both he and Yuvraj picked up birdies on the 15th, there was a momentum shift back in favour of Yuvraj. Sandhu came up with an incredible approach shot from 99 yards on the 16th that found the hole for an eagle and brought him on level terms with Madappa.
Yuvraj finally nailed an unbelievable 27-feet birdie putt on the 18th to get over the line and break the record for the lowest winning total at Tollygunge Club previously standing at 18-under 262 which was jointly held by Md Zamal Hossain Mollah (Bengal Open 2019) and Anirban Lahiri (PGTI Players Championship 2011).
Yuvraj, the son of an Army officer, said, “Even though I was trailing for a major part of the round, I remembered what my father had told me that it’s not over till the last hole is holed out. Today, I knew that it was about being patient.
“After finding the 16th fairway, I knew that I had an opportunity as I was putting well. I managed to open the door with the eagle on the 16th. Then on the last hole I just told myself to make sure that I don’t leave it short and put good pace on the ball. That worked out for me perfectly.
“I still can’t believe the way I played on the back-nine. It’s still sinking in. My putter really stood out for me this week. I was struggling with my driving over the last few events so I switched back to my old driver which really helped.”
Rashid Khan and Shamim Khan were tied fourth at 16-under 264.
Kolkata’s SSP Chawrasia finished tied ninth at 11-under 269.
Indian golf legend Jeev Milkha Singh ended tied 17th at eight-under 272.