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Golf | Asia

Digvijay Singh © Gallo Images

Singh ends 12-year title wait



Digvijay Singh made a late charge to close with a flawless six-under-par 66 and end an agonising 12-year wait for his maiden Asian Tour title at the Panasonic Open India on Sunday.

Singh produced a grandstand finish with a 12-foot birdie putt on the last to defeat Siddikur of Bangladesh and fellow Indian Gaganjeet Bhullar by two shots at the $300 000 event.

Thai veteran Boonchu Ruangkit rolled back the years with a 67 to finish in fourth place while overnight leader Ashok Kumar was in contention before dropping four shots in the last six holes at Delhi Golf Club.

"This is very special for me. There's no feeling better than winning an Asian Tour title in India at the Delhi Golf Club. I've won on the local circuit before but this takes the cake," said Singh, who totalled 11-under-par 277.

Singh, who was three shots back at the start of the day, came surging into contention with a superb back nine highlighted by birdies on holes 13, 14, 16 and 18, to the delight of the home crowd.

The 40-year-old pocketed $47 500 for his troubles and it represents a remarkable reverse in fortunes after he lost his Asian Tour card last year.

"The 13th hole was the turning point that got me going. I made my second birdie of the day on hole seven and couldn't convert anything until the birdie on 13. From then on, the birdies starting flowing in," he said.

"I wasn't disheartened when I lost my Asian Tour card last year. I told myself, this is where I am and I should make the most of it. It was frustrating that everybody has won it except me, but I'm glad I've done it."

Bhullar, a two-time Asian Tour winner, was in contention for most of the round but had to settle for second.

"Digvijay played incredibly. He deserved this long-awaited victory. It is all part of the game but I felt I could have done a little better," he said.

"I'll accept this finish and go with the flow because I'm playing well again after a long time," added Bhullar, who mixed his card with three birdies against one bogey for a 70.

Siddikur, the first Bangladeshi to play and win on the Asian Tour, rued another missed opportunity to claim a second title as he secured his 12th top-10 finish on the Asian Tour.

LEADING FINAL-ROUND SCORES

277 - Digvijay Singh (IND) 70-73-68-66

279 - Siddikur (BAN) 71-67-73-68, Gaganjeet Bhullar (IND) 72-67-70-70

281 - Boonchu Ruangkit (THA) 71-74-69-67

282 - Sanjay Kumar (IND) 70-72-75-65, Ben Fox (USA) 73-71-69-69, Shankar Das (IND) 70-69-71-72

283 - Anirban Lahiri (IND) 69-75-74-65, Ashok Kumar (IND) 70-69-69-75

284 - Harmeet Kahlon (IND) 72-71-75-66, Prom Meesawat (THA) 70-69-76-69, Kunal Bhasin (AUS) 71-73-68-72, Manav Jaini (IND) 72-67-72-73, Wade Ormsby (AUS) 73-67-71-73

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