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India’s Ajeetesh Sandhu wins Japan event after Asian Tour success

India’s Ajeetesh Sandhu, fresh from claiming his first Asian Tour title last week, has added another victory in the Japanese Challenge Tour

other sports Updated: Oct 13, 2017 17:58 IST
Ashutosh Sharma
Ashutosh Sharma
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Ajeetesh Sandhu,Asian Tour,Golf
Ajeetesh Sandhu continued his consistent run in the Asian Tour circuit as he clinched the Japanese Challenger event, one week after he had won the Yeangder Tournament Players Championship.(AFP)

India’s Ajeetesh Sandhu ended his long wait by clinching his first Asian Tour title in Taipei last week. The 29-year-old from Chandigarh cashed in on his red-hot form by claiming a second win on Friday, this time on the Japanese Challenge Tour.

Ajeetesh Sandhu won his maiden Asian Tour event last week, claiming the Yeangder Tournament Players Championship. He added another feather in his cap by winning the Taiheiyo Club Challenge Tournament in Japan on a playoff.

Fighting show

Ajeetesh shot a six-under 65 in the first round and then an even par 71 in the 36-hole event, in the second-rung tour of Japan.

The Indian golfer, third after the first round, which left him one shot off the lead, ended the second round tied for the lead with Japan’s Konosuke Nakasato, who shot a three-under 68 in the second round.

Ajeetesh won on the first playoff hole to pocket Rs 10 lakh approx (1,800,000 yen). He has played six events on the Japanese Challenge Tour so far this season and lies 13th on the money list.

“The conditions were totally different from yesterday. In Round 1, it was perfect weather, sunny and no wind. But today, it was raining through the entire 18 holes. Add to it, it was windy and 12 Degrees Celsius. Pretty tough conditions, glad I could hold on to par in round 2,” Sandhu said after the win.

Asian Tour boost

The 29-year-old won the Asian Tour USD 500,000 Yeangder event last week before rushing to Japan.

“The Asian tour win has surely helped me. When I got the lead yesterday, I knew I had it in me to pull it off. On the course, which is such a mental game, that is half the battle. The Asian Tour win has boosted my confidence,” Sandhu added.

Braving conditions, Ajeetesh Sandhu sank two birdies on the front nine but it was the back nine which proved to be quite eventful, finishing with a 71 after a birdie and three bogeys.

“With the conditions tough, I knew it was going to be tight in the end. So, my focus was very much on playing solid and not committing any mistake. I managed to pull myself out of some tricky situations; so all-in-all it was a satisfying week.”

Next in line for Sandhu will be an Asian Tour event, the $500,000 Macao Open starting on October 19.

First Published: Oct 13, 2017 17:57 IST