Aryan Roopa Anand completed a wire-to-wire victory, leading 33 others to full status on the domestic professional golf tour at the Tollygunge Club in Kolkata on Friday.
The Bangalore-based amateur capped his impressive run with a final day card of two under par 70 to win by a clear six shots over the pursuing pack at the Final Qualifying Stage of the Tata Steel PGTI Qualifying School.
The 21-year-old is the first amateur to top the Qualifying School process in six years after Dhruv Sheoran did so back in 2017. Anand’s final tally (64-63-65-68) was an impressive 20-under 260 on the par-70 Tolly course.
Karan Pratap Singh (68-65-65-68) of Faridabad took second place on 14-under 266 after he too returned a final round of two under 68 while Sri Lanka’s K. Prabagaran (65-71-67-65) took third place on 12-under 268 following a bogey-free fourth round to end up as the best performing overseas player.
The cut in the final round fell at four-over 284 with the top 34 players earning their full cards for the 2023 Tata Steel PGTI season. Among the six tied in 32nd, the top three based on countback earned their full cards.
The top 34 included seven amateurs. There were also five overseas golfers (one each from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, the USA and Canada) among the 34 players earning full PGTI status.
Leading by six shots overnight, Aryan Roopa Anand drove home the advantage on Friday swapping five birdies for a bogey and a double.
Aryan, currently the leading amateur in the country and two-time All India Amateur champion, had an early bogey but got back into his stride with five birdies between the sixth and 17th holes that included two long conversions from between 20 to 30 feet.
Anand crossed the line by a comfortable six-shot margin despite the double-bogey on the 18th hole and said later, “My win is a big morale-booster. As I look to begin my professional journey, this victory gives me a taste of what it is like to be on top in a professional event.
“I came into this week with no expectations and just focused on consistency and shooting low scores. I had set certain targets for myself and I was competing against myself rather than anyone else.
“It was a week of clean hitting and even when I was not at my best, I managed to grind it out. I was very pleased with my scoring as the total of 20-under is my personal best at a tournament.
“I would like to thank my team, family and friends for all their support over the years as that kept me in a good mental space,” added Anand, who plays at the KGA in Bangalore and is coached by Tarun Sardesai.
Runner-up Karan Pratap Singh closed with an eagle, three birdies and three bogeys as he bagged the top prize money cheque of Rs. 75,000 for finishing as the best professional.
1. ARYAN ROOPA ANAND (A) (Ind)
2. KARAN PRATAP SINGH (Ind)
3. K. PRABAGARAN (SL)
4. C. MUNIYAPPA
5. SUDHIR SHARMA
6. SUKRA BAHADUR RAI (Nep)
7. MD DULAL HOSSAIN (Bang)
8. SAPTAK TALWAR (Ind)
T 9 KHOKAN MOLLAH (Ind)
T 9 KARAN VERMA (A) (Ind)
T 9 VARUN CHOPRA (USA)
T 9 ANSHUL PATEL
T 13 AKSHAY NERANJEN (Ind)
T 13 SAGAR RAGHUVANSHI (Ind)
T 13 RAJESH KUMAR (P) (Ind)
T 16 TRISHUL CHINNAPPA (Ind)
T 16 PANKAJ MAANDIYA (Ind)
18. ANIL BAJRANG MANE (Ind)
T 19 PINTU HALDAR (Ind)
T 19 ARYAMAN ADITYA MOHAN LAL (A) (Ind)
T 19 PRANAV MARDIKAR (Ind)
T 22 NAMAN DAWAR (Ind)
T 22 MANDAAR S. PRASHAR (Ind)
T 22 KARAN VASUDEVA (Ind)
T 22 SANDEEP SINGH (Ind)
T 22 ABHISHEK KUHAAR (Ind)
T 27 IRFAN ALI MOLLAH (Ind)
T 27 SHAURYA BINU BHARATHAN (A) (Ind)
T 27 SUKHRAJ SINGH GILL (A) (Can)
T 27 GIRRAJ SINGH KHADKA
T 27 PUKHRAJ SINGH GILL (Ind)
T 32 BISHMADPAL SINGH (Ind)
T 32 SAARTHAK CHHIBBER (Ind)
T 32 PRAVIN J PATHARE (Ind)
T 32 MD AKBAR HOSSAIN (Bang)
T 32 VICTOR HANS (Ind)
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