Family is Veer Ahlawat’s lucky mascot at Delhi-NCR Open

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Veer Ahlawat - TheGolfingHub
Courtesy the win at the Delhi-NCR Open, Veer Ahlawat urther extended his lead in the TATA Steel PGTI Ranking as his earnings moved to Rs 86,82,267. Photo: PGTI

Veer Ahlawat continued his fine form with a flawless last round of six-under 66 to march to a one-shot victory at the INR 1 crore Nissan presents Delhi-NCR Open 2024 played at the Noida Golf Course.

Related: Manu Gandas in line to repeat 2022 epic at Noida Golf Course

Veer (68-67-70-66), fresh from his joint runner-up finish at the Indian Open two weeks back, totaled 17-under 271 to take home his third professional trophy and the winning cheque worth INR 15 lakh.

 

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The lanky golfer from the DLF Golf & Country Club thus further extended his lead in the TATA Steel PGTI Ranking as his earnings moved to INR 86,82,267. Twenty-eight-year-old Veer now enjoys a lead of more than INR 38 lakh over nearest rival Manu Gandas.

Manu (68-69-66-69), a former champion of the Delhi-NCR Open, gave Veer a tough fight on Saturday before signing off with a final round of 69 to finish runner-up at 16-under 272. Manu bagged a cheque worth INR 10 lakh to move up from third to second place in the PGTI’s merit list.

Veer, who was overnight third and two off the lead, had a confidence-boosting start as he made birdie and eagle on the first two holes largely thanks to his accurate tee shots. His eagle-two on the second came after he found the fringe of the par-4 green with his drive and then chipped-in.

 

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The 6-foot 4-inch tall Veer collected three more birdies on the eighth, 10th and 14th. He then had a few more birdie opportunities on the 16th and 17th where he missed putts.

Veer had a stroke of luck on the 18th where his drive bounced out of the hazard and ended up off the fairway but just 50 yards from the flag. He then landed it 15 feet from the flag before making a two-putt for victory even as his closest rival Manu missed an up and down from the bunker to drop a bogey on the 18th.

Veer said, “I had a really solid day as far as my tee shots, hitting and putting are concerned. Even though it wasn’t the best of days with the wedges. I enjoyed a great start with birdie-eagle on the first two holes. That chip-in for eagle on the second set up the day for me.

“I came into the tournament high on confidence thanks to my runner-up finish in a strong field at the Indian Open two weeks back. I just focused on my game today even while it was close on the back-nine and kept hitting fairways and greens. I wasn’t really in danger of dropping a bogey at any point.”

The newly-married Veer added, “It was great to have my parents and my wife come out to support me today. My wife has been walking all 18 holes with me in recent events and I feel she has been my good luck charm. My mother saw me win for the first time today, so that was quite an emotional moment for me.

 

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“My caddie this week was my friend Rajbir. My regular caddie wasn’t feeling well so Rajbir asked me if he could caddie for me. He helped me to stay calm as he talks a lot on the course. After missing the birdie putt on the 17th, I got a little tense but Rajbir talked me out of it.”

Manu, the overnight leader by one shot, was even-par through the front-nine on Saturday but emerged as a prime contender for the title with four birdies between the 11th and 17th that put him in the joint lead. His challenge ended with the bogey on the 18th.

Yashas Chandra (70), overnight second and one off the lead, raised hopes of a maiden title with four birdies on the front-nine in round four. But his three bogeys coming in exchange for a lone birdie on the back-nine dashed his title hopes and saw him finish third at 14-under 274.

Gaurav Pratap Singh had the best finish among the Noida golfers as he took tied 15th place at four-under 284.