Akshay Sharma wins PGTI Players Championship golf with record low score

Caddie-turned-golfer Akshay Sharma won his second PGTI title in style, matching the lowest shot record for a win on the tour.

By Rahul Venkat

Indian golfer Akshay Sharma won the PGTI Players Championship, the first golf event in India since the COVID-19 pandemic, at the Panchkula Golf Club on Saturday.

It was the second title on the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) for caddie-turned-golf pro Akshay Sharma. His previous PGTI win came in 2018 at the QA Infotech Open at Noida.

It came in fine fashion as his 24-under aggregate meant that he tied the record for the lowest winning total on the PGTI, earlier jointly set by both Anirban Lahiri and Rashid Khan.

Chandigarh-based Sharma maintained his lead throughout the tournament after a first-round 64. The 30-year-old golfer began the final round with an eagle on the third and sunk five more birdies through the round.

However, an untimely bogey on the final hole meant that he missed out on setting a new winning record. It was a dominating show from Sharma, who dropped just two bogeys and a double-bogey through the tournament.

Another Chandigarh golfer Karandeep Kochhar finished second five shots back at 19-under while Udayan Mane and Chikkarangappa S ended tied-third with identical scores of 14-under.

Pune-based Udayan Mane scored a final round 66, the joint-best of the third round alongside Veer Ahlawat, to earn some crucial points, which will move Mane up a few places in the global rankings and further his chances of making the cut for Tokyo 2020.

Rashid Khan, the only Indian golfer in the top-60 of the Olympic Golf Rankings (OGR), finished tied-25th with a one-under score in what was his first event since the season was halted.

It was not the most ideal outing for Khan, who is looking at PGTI events to keep up his lead in the race to represent India at the Tokyo Olympics next year.

Impressive youngster Aadil Bedi meanwhile ended tied-12th with a six-under, with only his final round 73 putting him out of the top ten.