Kumar makes history with #PanasonicOpenIndia win

Sun 04 Dec 2016

Kumar makes history with #PanasonicOpenIndia win

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Mukesh Kumar of India Mukesh Kumar of India

New Delhi, December 4: Local veteran Mukesh Kumar completed a wire-to-wire victory at the weather-shortened Panasonic Open India to claim his first Asian Tour title by one shot on Sunday.

Kumar, who had a two-shot advantage heading into the third and final round, closed with a two-under-par 70 for a winning total of 10-under-par 206 at the US$400,000 Asian Tour event, which was earlier reduced to 54 holes due to fog disruptions.

Kumar’s victory, worth US$72,000, made him the oldest winner on the Asian Tour at the age of 51 years and 126 days. Indian duo Jyoti Randhawa and Rashid Khan closed with matching 68s to share second place at the venerable Delhi Golf Club.

Mithun Perera of Sri Lanka capped his third consecutive top-five finish at the Panasonic Open India after signing for a 70 to take fourth place on 208. He is the only non-Indian to finish inside top-10 at the Asian Tour event, which celebrated its sixth edition this week.

“I am very proud of myself. I have waited 32 years for this. This means a lot to me." - Mukesh Kumar

NEW_DELHI_INDIA_041216_MUKESH_KUMAR_012Kumar, who has won over 120 titles on the domestic circuit, was ecstatic to savour his career’s biggest win at the Panasonic Open India. It was his first international win since turning professional 32 years ago.

“I am very proud of myself. I have waited 32 years for this. This means a lot to me. It feels different from the 123 wins that I have had on the domestic Tour before. I have been wanting to achieve this,” said Kumar, who marked his card with three birdies against a bogey.

Kumar saw his lead reduced to one after dropping a shot on third. He bounced back with two straight birdies from seven to regain his two-shot edge but was caught up by a fast-charging Randhawa, who sank his fourth birdie of the day on 15 to tie the lead.

Kumar, however, kept his cool by nailing a crucial 20-footer birdie putt on 15, which proved decisive as he regained a one-shot lead before returning with three straight pars to clinch victory.

“The 20-footer that I made for birdie on 15 was the decisive putt for me. I knew I had a good chance after sinking that putt. I told myself I just need to par the last three holes. Even though I know Jyoti (Randhawa) was just one shot back and he has a good chance on 18 being a long-hitter, I didn’t think too much about that. I just focused on what I need to do,” added Kumar.

NEW_DELHI_INDIA_041216_JYOTI_RANDHAWA_026 Jyoti Randhawa of India

Randhawa, who was bidding for a ninth Asian Tour win and a fifth at the Delhi Golf Club, tipped his hat to Kumar for being a deserving winner.

“I am very happy for Mukesh. He played well for his first Asian Tour victory so hats off to him. It’s great for him because it’s his first international win after so many years of playing on the local Tour. I did my best today. Maybe just one shot was bad but this is golf for you. As long as you do your best, it’s alright,” said the 44-year-old, Asia’s number one in 2002.

Randhawa took pride in his commendable result, which marked his second top-five finish in the last one month on the Asian Tour. “It has been a great week for me. My game has been improving. There is surely a lot of positives to take from this week. It gives me a lot of confidence heading into the season finale in Hong Kong next week,” Randhawa added.

Khan battled against a wrist injury to cap his best finish on the Asian Tour this season. “I started very well today, except on the fourth where I hit it to the right and took a drop in the bunker. But I made a very really good bogey there. I gave myself a few more chances after that but unfortunately I wasn’t able to take advantage of them,” said the 25-year-old Indian.

Rashid Khan of India Rashid Khan of India

“It was only until 14 that I started to make birdies again. That gave me a lot of confidence and I went on to birdie 15 and 18. I had to play aggressively. I missed a short putt for birdie on 16 which was disappointing but overall, it was good. I am happy to finish well this week. I did my best,” added the two-time Asian Tour winner.

Ends.

Scores after round 3 of the Panasonic Open India 2016 being played at the par 72, 6935 Yards Delhi GC course (am - denotes amateur):

206 - Mukesh KUMAR (IND) 67-69-70.

207 - Jyoti RANDHAWA (IND) 67-72-68, Rashid KHAN (IND) 67-72-68.

208 - Mithun PERERA (SRI) 70-68-70.

209 - Honey BAISOYA (IND) 73-69-67.

210 - Shankar DAS (IND) 71-67-72.

211 - Shamim KHAN (IND) 67-74-70, Sanjeev KUMAR (IND) 71-69-71, Kapil KUMAR (IND) 68-72-71, Khalin JOSHI (IND) 67-71-73.

212 - Namchok TANTIPOKHAKUL (THA) 74-71-67, Lionel WEBER (FRA) 69-75-68, Brett MUNSON (USA) 71-69-72, Deepinder Singh KULLAR (IND) 73-66-73.

213 - Zamal Hossain MOLLAH (BAN) 72-73-68, Pariya JUNHASAVASDIKUL (THA) 73-72-68, Michael TRAN (VIE) 71-72-70, Chiragh KUMAR (IND) 71-68-74, Shubhankar SHARMA (IND) 71-68-74.

214 - N. THANGARAJA (SRI) 75-68-71, Sung LEE (KOR) 72-68-74.

215 - Sutijet KOORATANAPISAN (THA) 70-75-70, Arjun ATWAL (IND) 69-72-74, Om Prakash CHOUHAN (IND) 72-68-75.

216 - Harendra GUPTA (IND) 74-71-71, M DHARMA (IND) 71-72-73, Chikkarangappa S. (IND) 71-72-73, Angad CHEEMA (IND) 71-71-74, Digvijay SINGH (IND) 70-71-75.

217 - Anura ROHANA (SRI) 71-75-71, Sujjan SINGH (IND) 74-72-71, Sattaya SUPUPRAMAI (THA) 71-75-71, Anthony KANG (USA) 74-74-69, Jazz JANEWATTANANOND (THA) 69-69-79.

About Panasonic

Panasonic Corporation is a worldwide leader in the development of diverse electronics technologies and solutions for customers in the consumer electronics, housing, automotive, enterprise solutions and device industries. Since its founding in 1918, the company has expanded globally and now operates 468 subsidiaries and 94 associated companies worldwide, recording consolidated net sales of 7.715 trillion yen for the year ended March 31, 2015. Committed to pursuing new value through innovation across divisional lines, the company uses its technologies to create a better life and a better world for its customers. To learn more about Panasonic: http://www.panasonic.com/global.

About Panasonic India

Panasonic makes available in India & South Asia its wide range of consumer electronics, home appliances like LCD & Plasma TVs, DVD players, Home Theatre Systems, Smartphones, Cameras, Camcorders, Car Audio Systems, Air Conditioners, Washing Machines, Refrigerators, Microwave Ovens, Automatic Cookers, Vacuum Cleaners and an extensive range of system products including communication like Phones, High Definition Videoconferencing, Professional Audio Video products like Broadcast Cameras, Projectors and Displays, Business Solutions including Printers, Whiteboards, and Security Solutions. The company currently has a workforce of about 13,000 in India & South Asia. For more information on the company and the Panasonic brand in India, please visit http://panasonic.co.in.

About the Asian Tour

As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include ECCO (Official Footwear Sponsor), FENIX XCell (Official Apparel Supplier), Hilton Worldwide (Official Hotel Partner), Titleist (Official Web Partner), Bloomberg TV (Official International Media Sponsor), Bloomberg Businessweek Chinese (Official Business Publication Sponsor) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). Sentosa, Singapore is the Home of the Asian Tour which also has an office in Kuala Lumpur.

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