Udayan Mane prevails over Honey Baisoya in ‘battle of nerves’

Udayan Mane prevails over Honey Baisoya in ‘battle of nerves’ at inaugural Bengaluru Open Golf Championship sponsored by Karnataka Tourism

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Mane zooms to No. 1 in PGTI Order of Merit with third win of season, breaks 72-hole course record by a mile

Bengaluru, November 18, 2017: The last round of the Bengaluru Open Golf Championship sponsored by Karnataka Tourism was billed as a shootout between two of the brightest prospects on the Indian golfing horizon, Ahmedabad-based 26-year-old Udayan Mane and Delhi’s 21-year-old Honey Baisoya, and that is exactly what it turned out to be.

The huge galleries at the Karnataka Golf Association (KGA) course were witness to a fascinating duel on Saturday as neither of the two contenders was in the mood to yield an inch to the other.

Finally, it was Udayan Mane (68), who prevailed by one shot at the Rs. 1 crore PGTI event for his third title of the season, as Honey Baisoya (71) missed a two feet par putt on the last hole. Mane totaled 20-under-268 for the week while Baisoya’s tally read 19-under-269.

The burly Udayan bagged a winning cheque of Rs. 15 lakh to move up from second to first in the PGTI Order of Merit as his season’s earnings went up to Rs. 36,58,851. With his tournament tally of 20-under-268, Mane also broke Bengaluru lad Chikkarangappa’s previous 72-hole course record of 13-under-275, set during last year’s TAKE Open.

Mane (69-65-66-68), who trailed Baisoya (67-64-67-71) by two shots at the start of round four, kept pace with the leader in the initial stages as both players drained birdies on the first two holes. Udayan finally came into the joint lead when he picked up another stroke on the sixth while Honey dropped a bogey on the seventh.

Mane’s errant drive on the ninth resulted in a bogey and saw him drop back to second. While both players birdied the 11th, Udayan restored parity with a 15-feet birdie conversion on the 12th.

After both contenders made pars on the next five holes a playoff looked imminent. But there was a final twist on the 18th. Mane recovered extremely well from a tough position between the trees and extracted a par with a quality up and down. However, Baisoya, who was also in the rough after his first shot, found the green in three, but then missed the all-important two feet par putt that handed Udayan his fifth career title.

A delighted Mane, who moved base from Bengaluru to Ahmedabad few months back, said, “I began the week with no expectations as I didn’t play the practice round and the Pro-Am and therefore didn’t have a feel of the course. But I’m glad that I played with heart, kept my nerves in a high pressure situation and got the job done. I played like a peaceful warrior.

“I had almost prepared myself for the playoff when Honey missed that last putt. I was quite surprised by that because he had been putting like a demon all week. It feels like both of us won the tournament since it was such a close contest and Honey played so well.

“I think the turning point was my birdie on the 11th. My second shot was in the trees on the 11th but I still salvaged a birdie there after a tremendous third shot, a low three-iron, to the front of the green and an equally good chip that set up a tap-in. That really lifted my confidence.

“After the 11th I kept telling myself that I just need to keep creating chances and one of my birdie putts will drop. But that didn’t happen even though I hung in there with some great par saves.

“I’m delighted with this win as it gets me nearer to my goal of winning the PGTI Order of Merit title. I would like to thank my sponsor AVT and my home course Kalhaar Blues & Greens, Ahmedabad, for their support and my coach Mr. Vijay Divecha for his constant encouragement,” added Udayan, who took home the biggest prize money cheque of his career so far.

Baisoya, the round three leader by two shots, was disappointed with his finish as he was never out of the lead on the final day till he missed his par putt on the 18th.

Honey said, “I felt the pressure today especially while making that crucial par putt on the 18th. I knew the line and speed of the putt but I just hit it a little too hard. I wish I could make that putt again.

“The difference at the end was that Udayan recovered well from his mistakes while I couldn’t do the same.

“Nonetheless, 19-under is a terrific score for the week and I will carry that as a positive into the forthcoming Asian Tour events that I’ll be playing. I’m also in contention for the PGTI Order of Merit having moved up from fifth to third in the rankings and that is another big gain from this week.”

Chandigarh’s Harendra Gupta (67) took the third spot at 17-under-271 while Bengaluru golfers Khalin Joshi (66) and Rahil Gangjee (67) shared fourth place at 14-under-274. Gangjee signed off with an eagle on the last hole.

Bengaluru’s M Dharma was tied for sixth along with Delhi golfers Himmat Singh Rai and Shamim Khan at 13-under-275.

Chikkarangappa, another Bengalurean, finished tied 13th at eight-under-280.

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