Ghei Enjoys Two-Stroke Triumph at Pine Valley Beijing Open

Sun 29 Apr 2007

Ghei Enjoys Two-Stroke Triumph at Pine Valley Beijing Open

Beijing, April 29: Indian stalwart Gaurav Ghei enjoyed a two-stroke triumph at the Pine Valley Beijing Open with a final round of three-under-par 69 on Sunday .

Ghei fired a steady blemish free round with three birdies for a winning total of 14-under-par 274 at the Pine Valley Golf Resort and Country Club.

The 38-year-old chalked up his third win in Asia and walked away with the top prize of US$79,250. As a result, Ghei rose to seventh place on the Asian Tour?s UBS Order of Merit with total earnings of US$189,164.

?I had a game plan of playing to my strength and that?s what I did today. I told myself to go out and play one hole at a time. I hit the ball well and made it easy. I didn?t make bogey, so it was just a solid round of golf. I?m extremely happy,? said Ghei.

The Indian talent ended his 11-year drought with a triumph at the Mercuries Taiwan Masters last year which had sparked off a rich vein of form and with birdies on the fifth, eighth and 13th holes in the final stretch today, Ghei was delighted to continue his winning form this season.

?Last year was a great win as it ended an 11-year drought. But I wanted to win another tournament to prove to myself that my win last year was no fluke and to do it here in such a short span of time is very satisfying indeed. I put in a lot of hard work and it feels great to win it again,? said Ghei who had previously won the 1995 Gadgil Western Masters.

?I would like to dedicate this win to my sponsor India Cements. They?ve been with me for 13 years and more times out of that, it?s been very tough as I?ve not been playing well. So I would like to say thanks to N. Srinivasan who has been like a rock behind me,? added the champion, who delivered a top-10 finish at the Johnnie Walker Classic in March. He had made the cut in the past seven straight events competed this year before his success today.

Australia?s Adam Blyth was pleased with his overall performance as he took lone second position after two birdies against a lone bogey for a 71 and finished two strokes behind the winner.

?I played four solid rounds and although I didn?t win, I?m quite pleased with how I did this week,? said Blyth, who had previously claimed joint ninth place at the Motorola International Bintan last month.

After five birdies against one bogey and a double bogey, Thailand?s Thaworn Wiratchant shot a 70 and enjoyed his best finish this season in joint third place alongside compatriot Chapchai Nirat who carded a 68 for a 277 total. Chapchai battled a stomach flu this week and with an eagle at the par five eighth hole today, the young Thai was pleased to finish among the frontrunners.

?I had a stomach flu since Tuesday and it has been affecting my game but I hung in there. I have been playing well and I?m very proud of that. I am quite surprised that I was consistent and I?m happy overall,? said Chapchai.

Local hero Zhang Lian-wei shot his second straight 69 and finished in tied 10th place together with compatriot Liang Wen-chong who carded a 73 for a 281 total. UBS Order of Merit leader Anton Haig endured a slow finish with a 78 in tied 58th spot.

American talent John Daly stumbled to a 75 on the final round as he claimed tied 29th position.

In the Red Bull Final 5 competition, China's Liang walked away with the winner's cheque of US$10,000 after scoring a total of four under par. The contest rewards the top five players with the lowest score on the final five holes over four rounds. Liang had six birdies and two bogeys over the tournament from the 14th and 18th holes. Australia's Scott Barr, New Zealand's Brad Iles, India's Gaurav and Scotland's Ross Bain settled for

US$8,000, US$6,000, US$4,000 and US$2,000 respectively for finishing second to fifth place.

Leading final round scores

274 - Gaurav Ghei (IND) 65-72-68-69

276 - Adam Blyth (AUS) 70-68-67-71

277 - Chapchai Nirat (THA) 69-67-73-68, Thaworn Wiratchant (THA) 72-68-67-70,

278 - Angelo Que (PHI) 70-72-67-69, Scott Strange (AUS) 69-68-68-73

279 - Brad Iles (NZL) 69-69-72-69

280 - Tony Carolan (AUS) 70-72-70-68, David Gleeson (AUS) 71-70-70-69

281 - Gerald Rosales (PHI) 71-67-75-68, Zhang Lian-wei (CHN) 74-69-69-69, Scott Hend (AUS) 72-71-68-70, Liang Wen-chong (CHN) 70-69-69-73, Panuwat Muenlek (THA) 66-70-69-76

282 - Ben Leong (MAS) 70-72-72-68, Leigh Mckechnie (AUS) 73-69-72-68, Lee Won-Joon (AUS) 75-69-69-69, Craig Smith (WAL) 69-72-70-71, Scott Barr (AUS) 74-70-68-70, Taichiro Kiyota (JPN) 70-69-71-72, Brad Kennedy (AUS) 69-71-70-72, Kane Webber (AUS) 71-69-70-72