Even as a teenager, Mandeo Singh Pathania's aim was to use the long handle to spank the ball to a distance. He played cricket then and even represented Delhi in under-14 tournaments.
Soon, he opted for a golf club but the big hitting prowess stayed. This ability landed the 27-year-old his first Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) title on Saturday.
The well-built golfer attacked the "not so friendly" back nine at the Bombay Presidency Golf Course with a few high-risk approach shots to the green and came out triumphant with a total score of 14-under-266 to lift the CG Open crown.
The bogey free round of five-under 65, that also made him the only player to register under-par scores on all four days, ensured that Pathania took home the winner's cheque worth Rs 12,93,200 and climbed to the sixth place on the order of merit list. "I had eight consecutive pars going out. The 30-feet put for a birdie on the 9th gave me the confidence to attack and I always knew that I could hit long and straight on those tight fairways," said Pathania, who trains at the Jaypee Greens in Greater Noida.
Pathania then birdied the 11th hole to take the lead for the first time in the tournament and build on the advantage with birdies on the 12th, 16th and 17th to wrap up the contest. His nearest rival, Mukesh Kumar, had an indifferent back nine, registering three birdies and two bogeys.