Arjun Singh won his first professional title after three years beating Shamim Khan in the final of the SRF All India Professional Golf Matchplay Championship, a Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) event here at the Delhi Golf Club on Saturday.
Arjun came out victorious against Shamim with a score of 2 and 1, while Ali Sher defeated Lam Chih Bing with a score of 4 and 3 in the playoff for the third place.
Arjun and Shamim were involved in an engrossing battle on their home turf but the former started well with wins on the first and third holes.
Shamim soon came back by securing the fourth, fifth and 10th holes. From then on it was a see-saw battle as Arjun won the 12th, 14th, 15th and 17th and Shamim wrapped up the 13th and 16th. At the end of the first 18 holes Arjun was 1 up.
On the second 18, Arjun extended his lead to 4 up by winning the first, third and sixth holes. But Shamim bounced back and reduced the lead to 1 up by winning the seventh, 13th and 14th.
However, Arjun finally won the title with a birdie on the 17th while Shamim made par.
Arjun's 12th professional title made him richer by Rs. 520,000.
"I'm delighted with this victory. It's my first professional win after the 2005 Hero Honda Western India in Pune. This win also makes up for my last hole debacle at The Global Green Bangalore Open in December where I finished second," said Arjun.
"I take a lot of positives from here. Last year I had worked with Claude Harmon (Gaurav Ghei's coach) on shortening my swing. All that hard work is now paying off," he added.
Arjun Singh has now climbed from 11th to fifth position on the PGTI Order of Merit for 2007-08. He now has one win and two other top 10 finishes out of four starts on the PGTI this season.
Shamim, who is currently fourth on the PGTI Order of Merit with five top 10 finishes out of six starts, has also had some very good finishes this season but a victory has eluded him.
"My hitting was not good today even though I putted really well and made some good chip-putts. I had five birdies in all during the final," said the runners-up, adding: "I now need to work on my temperament and swing."
In the playoff for the third place, Ali won the third, fifth, seventh, ninth, 10th and 15th holes while Lam could only secure the eighth and 13th holes.