Aiken wins Avantha Masters by 3|
Greater Noida, Delhi, India (Sports Network) - Thomas Aiken fired a 5-under 67
on Sunday to win the Avantha Masters by three strokes.
Aiken, the overnight leader, carded five birdies at Jaypee Greens Golf
Club in his final round to finish at 23-under 265 and pick up his second
European Tour victory.
"I want to dedicate this to my wife Kate -- being the wife of a sportsman is
not easy and she supports me so much -- so this one's for you, Kate," said
India's Gaganjeet Bhullar charged up the leaderboard with a final-round 64 and
ended alone in second place at 20-under -- two strokes ahead of second-round
co-leader Wen-Chong Liang, who shot 69 for the second straight day.
Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat (69) took fourth place at 17-under, Seuk-Hyun
Baek (66) placed fifth at 16-under and David Drysdale (71), Scott Hend (70)
and David Horsey (67) tied for sixth at minus-15.
Tommy Fleetwood (71), Julien Quesne (70), Victor Dubuisson (67) and Himmat Rai
(65) ended in a tie for ninth at 14-under, while Magnus A. Carlsson (69),
Emiliano Grillo (65), Joonas Granberg (72) and Gi-Whan Kim (69) finished
knotted in 13th at minus-13.
Chapchai Nirat, the other second-round leader, shot even-par 72 for the second
straight day and finished in a tie for 17th at 12-under.
First-round leader Chinnarat Phadungsil carded a final-round 70 and ended in a
tie for 23rd at 11-under. The 24-year-old former European Tour Qualifying
School graduate used an inward 28 to grab a 5-stroke lead on Thursday -- one
shot shy of the European Tour first-round record -- but failed to break 70 for
the remainder of the tournament.
Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee, the highest-ranked player in the field at world
No. 59, shot 69 on Sunday and finished at 8-under.
Aiken fired the low round on Saturday (62) to grab a 3-stroke advantage, one
he would not relinquish over the final 18 holes. The 2011 Open de Espana
winner opened Sunday's round with a par before tallying birdies on Nos. 2 and
Bhullar, meanwhile, got off to a scorching start with birdies on the first
three holes and an eagle on the par-4 fifth, but bogeyed the eighth to fall
four shots off the pace.
Liang opened with three birdies in his first five holes, but he too was four
shots behind after a double bogey on the sixth. The 2007 Singapore Masters
winner promptly halved the deficit when he aced the par-3 seventh with an
eight iron, but failed to get any closer, carding two bogeys and a pair of
birdies on his inward nine to finish at 18-under.
Bhullar continued to apply the pressure, tallying four birdies on the back end
to close at 20-under, but Aiken didn't relent. The South African picked up
shots on both back-nine par-5s and rolled home a 30-footer at the last to
secure the 3-stroke victory.
"These guys kept coming at me today -- Liang on the front nine and then
Bhullar made some amazing birdies coming in," said Aiken. "It was by no means
a walk in the park."
NOTES: Liang was seeking his second European Tour victory ... Drysdale was
searching for his first European Tour title in his 291st attempt ...
Phadungsil is a three-time winner on the Asian Tour ... S.S.P. Chowrasia,
who won this event in 2008 and 2011, tied for 67th at 2-under ... Defending
champion Jbe Kruger, who earned his first European Tour win at this event a
year ago, shot even-par over the first two rounds and failed to make
Friday's cut ... The tournament was held at Jaypee Greens Golf Club for the
first time. DLF Golf & Country Club staged the event the previous three
years ... This event was tri-sanctioned between the European Tour, the Asian
Tour and Professional Golf Tour of India.
03/17 08:11:20 ET