Mane wins TAKE Classic golf tournament

The last day of the inaugural TAKE Classic golf tournament witnessed a class act by Udayan Mane that helped him turn the tables on Ajeetesh Sandhu and overnight leader Mukesh Kumar and win the title at the Kalhaar Blues and Greens here on Saturday.

Mane walked away with his second title of the season thanks to a gallant seven-under-65 in the final round that took his total to 14-under-274.

Chandigarh’s Ajeetesh Sandhu, who looked the favourite for a major part of the day, fell just short as a result of his last round of four-under-68 to finish runner-up at 13-under-275.

Mukesh Kumar of Mhow, the overnight leader, slipped to third at 10-under-278 after shooting a last round of one-over 73.

Mane, who was tied third and four shots off the lead overnight, made a slow start on the fourth day with his eagle and birdie on the front-nine being accompanied by two bogeys. But he then went on a birdie hunting spree on the back-nine, making five consecutive birdies from the 12th to the 16th.

The 26-year-old from Bengaluru thus roared into contention as he tied Ajeetesh Sandhu for the lead.

Mane emerged top favourite when he sank an incredible 20-feet birdie putt on the 18th to take the sole lead. With Ajeetesh then missing out on a birdie on the last, Udayan went on to seal his fourth title in style.

“It was an unbelievable day. I had a bad spell from the 12th hole onwards yesterday. But I was much more assured today. I had a shaky start today, but things started turning around in my favour from the 12th as I kept rolling in the putts,” Mane said.

Ajeetesh Sandhu (72-69-66-68), who was second overnight, made a charge for the title with five birdies over the first 14 holes. However, a bogey on the 15th and a missed birdie opportunity on the 18th meant he had to be content with second place behind the rampaging Mane.

Mukesh Kumar, three-under through the front-nine, slipped out of contention with two bogeys and a double bogey on the back-nine. He finally closed the week in third.

Kolkata rookie Viraj Madappa claimed fourth place at six-under-282.

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