Kumar Steals the Show

Sat 31 Mar 2012

Kumar Steals the Show

New Delhi, March 31: Ashok Kumar of India took the surprise third round lead with a three-under-par 69 at the Panasonic Open India on Saturday, but has proven winner Gaganjeet Bhullar trailing closely.

Kumar, a former caddy at the Delhi Golf Club, was hot with his irons as he missed only one green in regulation to take a one-shot lead over Bhullar, a two-time Asian Tour winner, on eight-under-par 208.

Bhullar fired a 70 to lie in second place while Shankar Das ensured the top three spots were occupied by Indians in the penultimate round of the US$300,000 event.

Overnight leader Siddikur, nicknamed the “Tiger Woods of Bangladesh”, slipped back with a 73 to share fourth place with Indians Digvijay Singh (68) and Manav Jaini (72) and Australian Wade Ormsby (71), who is celebrating his 32nd birthday today.

Kumar has come a long way since his days as a caddy at the Delhi Golf Club as he won 20 titles on the local circuit and claimed the 2011 Greens in Regulation category on the Asian Tour with a strike rate of 78%.

Kumar, who birdied the last hole from 15 feet to take the outright lead, is not taking his lead for granted.

“I’m not even going to think about the title. It is too far fetch to think ahead now. I’m just going to concentrate on my own game and not the leaderboard,” said the 30-year-old.

“In the past, I’ve been aggressive on the final day but I’ve totally changed now and will play calmly. I will treat it like another day,” added Kumar, who is among five Indians in the top-10.

Bhullar holed a huge 25-foot birdie putt on the sixth hole and hopes the experience of winning on the Asian Tour will guide him to a third victory.

“Mentally there is a bit of relief in my mind that I’ve won before. Winning a tournament in India on the Asian Tour is a big deal for an Indian because you are playing in front of friends and family. It will definitely give me a great sense of achievement,” said Bhullar, whose last victory was in 2010.

Siddikur, the first Bangladeshi to play and win on the Asian Tour, rued a cold putter as he returned with three bogeys against two birdies but is still confident of making a final round title charge.

“My putting wasn’t good so I hope to get back on track. There’s a long way to go. I’m very confident for tomorrow. I feel I have a slight advantage because I’ve come close to winning on this course before,” said Siddikur, who finished in fifth place at the SAIL-SBI Open on the same venue last month.

Ormsby, a former European Tour player, celebrated his birthday with a battling 71 to put himself in contention for a first Asian Tour victory. He was one-over after nine holes but bounced back with birdies on holes 14 and 18.

“It is a little bit frustrating because I’m not holing enough putts. I was getting a bit down on myself as I was three-under after nine holes and the other guys were going up to eight-under. I kind of hung in there and I’m happy for giving myself a chance at the end of my round,” said Ormsby, who earned his Asian Tour card at Qualifying School earlier this year.

The worldwide appeal of the Asian Tour stars and the rich heritage associated with India will be showcased throughout four days of the Panasonic Open India to over 200 countries and 650 million homes across the Live, Highlights, Magazine programmes and via the additional exposure generated by Golfing World.


The Panasonic Open India is also supporting the Golf Foundation to raise funds for the underprivileged through birdie counts. The Golf Foundation is a registered Charitable Society of golfers who want to give back to the game by helping a pool of untapped talent.


The Foundation has created very successful golfers like Ashok Kumar, Rashid Khan and Chikkarangappa to name a few. Shubham Jaglan is presently on the Foundation. He is a seven-year-old prodigy who has won almost all events in his category.

Scores after round 3 of the Panasonic Open India 2012 being played at the par 72, 6983 Yards Delhi GC course (a- denotes amateur):

208 - Ashok KUMAR (IND) 70-69-69.

209 - Gaganjeet BHULLAR (IND) 72-67-70.

210 - Shankar DAS (IND) 70-69-71.

211 - Digvijay SINGH (IND) 70-73-68, Wade ORMSBY (AUS) 73-67-71, Manav JAINI (IND) 72-67-72, SIDDIKUR (BAN) 71-67-73.

212 - Kunal BHASIN (AUS) 71-73-68.

213 - Ben FOX (USA) 73-71-69, Niall TURNER (IRL) 73-69-71.

214 - Boonchu RUANGKIT (THA) 71-74-69, Peter KARMIS (RSA) 75-67-72.

215 - Rattanon WANNASRICHAN (THA) 73-70-72, Prom MEESAWAT (THA) 70-69-76.


For further information, please contact Doyle De Costa at the Panasonic Open India media centre on +6012 699 1976.


About the Panasonic Open India 2012

The Panasonic Open India, sanctioned by the Asian Tour and the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI), will return for its second edition from March 29 to April 1. Local hero Anirban Lahiri will defend the title at the US$300,000 event held at the Delhi Golf Club. The Asian Tour event will be title sponsored by Panasonic India Pte Ltd and supported by Incredible India, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India. Other sponsors include Crowne Plaza Today New Delhi Okhla (Official Hotel), Srixon (Official Ball), Turkish Airlines (co-sponsor), Carlsberg Club Glasses, 4moles.com, GolfPlus Monthly, Inetol Headwear, adidas golfwear and Renault.


The tournament is organized and promoted by the Asian Tour. Get the latest news and tournament information on www.asiantour.com and www.4moles.com. You can also follow us on www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf and www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf.


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 Rolex (Official Timekeeper), J.Lindeberg (Official Apparel Partner), Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Official Hotels and Resorts), Cityneon (Official Event Overlay Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), Singha Beer (Official Beer), BlackBerry (Official Smartphone and Tablet Partner) and Srixon (Official Ball). The Asian Tour has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.


About Panasonic India

Panasonic makes available in India its wide range of consumer electronics and home appliances like LCD & Plasma TVs, DVD players, home theatre systems, cameras, camcorders, car audio systems, air conditioners, washing machines, refrigerators, microwave ovens, automatic cookers, vacuum cleaners and the like. The Company has a workforce of about 11,000 in India, registered sales of Rs 3200 crore in FY 2010 and estimated a turnover of Rs 5,500 crore in FY 2011. For more information on the company and the Panasonic brand in India, please visit http://panasonic.co.in