Gurki Shergill has a fondness for big names.
In 2007, the only instance when the SRF All-India Matchplay Championship moved out of the Delhi Golf Club (to the Noida Golf Course), Shergill had accounted for Ali Sher, the 1991 and 1993 Indian Open winner.
On Wednesday, Vijay Kumar met a similar fate at the DGC, the setting of his 2002 Indian Open triumph. "Two Indian Open winners in the bag," said the 32-year-old with an air of satisfaction, twirling the moustache as he went about dissecting the 5&3 scoreline.
Pitted against the tenacious No. 3 in the round of 16, Shergill, the 30th seed, did not put a foot wrong, save the bogey on the 12th, which saw him concede the hole.
Though he recorded just one birdie (on the 5th), it was his consistency that paid off. "I didn't miss the fairways and Vijay made it easier by giving a few holes by," said Shergill. With the burly Lucknow pro finding the bushes thrice, Shergill, who is based in Pune, did not feel the need to be aggressive and instead focussed on making par on those occasions.
By winning the 2nd and 5th, the 2009 Tata Open champion ensured that the pressure was on early, and with Vijay's hitting deserting him, the advantage kept piling on.
Seeded 13th, Sujjan Singh's growing reputation was an initial stumbling block for R Murthy and the Bangalorean even thought of giving up after conceding the opening two holes. A "relaxing" glass of water soothed the nerves and helped the No. 20 finish all square (even) on the 3rd. The slide had been stemmed and the ensuing birdie was a signal that Murthy would be unstoppable, as he went on to win 3&1.