Syed Saqib Ahmed played his worst round of the week but the eight-shot cushion ensured that he walked away with the honours in the Tata Steel Haryana Open Golf Championship that concluded at the Golden Greens Golf Club here on Friday.
The Bangalore lad signed off with a 5-over 77 for a four-day total of 3-under 285 to emerge as the champion.
Manav Das rallied with a brilliant 5-under 67 but it proved to be a little too late in the tournament as he fell shy by two shots in an event dominated by youngsters. Udayan Mane finished third at 289 while Simarjeet Singh ended up fourth at 290. As many as four players - Varoon Parmar, Viraj Madappa, Trishul Chinnappa and Karan Taunk shared the fifth place at 293 while Arjun Sharma was ninth at 294. Manu Gandas and Jaibir Singh were tied for the 10th place at 296.
Saqib who had shot a magical 66 just about 24 hours ago, was not in his best of elements as he was four-over after four holes after shooting a double on the second and lost one shot on the seventh. However he saved a stroke when he made a sandy-birdie on the par-5 ninth. The 18-year-old's agony continued when he made back to back bogeys on 10th and 11th . A birdie on the par-3 16th was the only solace on his return journey.
"Golden Greens has been my happy hunting ground," said Saqib who incidentally had won his maiden amateur title at this very course. "I was confident of my victory. I admit I had an eight shot advantage but never did I take it easy. It was just that my hitting went astray and I had to pay the penalty," he added.
Meanwhile, Manav Das after beginning with a birdie made an eagle-two on the par-4 third. He added two more birdies on the fifth and ninth while making a bogey on the 7th to take the turn at 4-under. The last mistake of the day was committed on the 10th while he made two more birdies on the 12th and 15th to submit a card of 67. "But for my opening round of 76, I was in fray. Nevertheless, I am happy for Saqib as he really played well yesterday," said Manav.
Top scores after 72 holes
285 Syed Saqib Ahmed (70, 72, 66, 77); 287 Manav Das (76, 73, 71, 67); 289 Udayan Mane (69, 73, 74, 73); 290 Simarjeet Singh (73, 69, 75, 73); 293 Varoon Parmar (76, 67, 77, 73), Viraj Madappa (72, 74, 74, 73), Trishul Chinnappa (73, 71, 74, 75), Karan Taunk (74, 70, 72, 77); 294 Arjun Sharma (73, 75, 75, 71); 296 Manu Gandas (73, 76, 75, 72), Jaibir Singh (74, 75, 73, 74); 299 HS Kang (75, 75, 74, 75), Arshad Ali (75, 71, 73, 80); 301 Harimohan Singh (73, 74, 76, 78); 303 Saurabh Bahuguna (79, 77, 71, 76)