Gurgaon Open ends Dharma’s seven-year wait for glory

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M Dharma - TheGolfingHub
M Dharma came close to winning many times since 2017, but he did not lose heart. Photo: PGTI

M Dharma claimed a long-awaited victory after he signed for a final round card of four-under 68 and finished an impressive five strokes ahead of the rest of the field at the INR 1 crore Gurgaon Open powered by Amrutanjan at the Classic Golf & Country Club in Nuh, Haryana.

Related: Dharma sets himself up for shot at Gurgaon Open crown

The 38-year-old Dharma (66-69-67-68) totaled 18-under 270 for the week to end his seven-year-long winless streak as he triumphed for the first time since 2017. Dharma’s third professional win earned him a cheque worth INR 15 lakh that lifted him from 40th place to seventh position in the TATA Steel PGTI Ranking.

Khalin Joshi (69-71-68-67) produced the day’s joint lowest round of 67 to clinch tied second place at 13-under 275.

 

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The other two joint runners-up along with Khalin were Saarthak Chhibber (71-70-64-70) who registered a career-best finish and Yashas Chandra (69-69-69-68) who secured his third top-10 of the season.

Dharma, who enjoyed a two-shot lead ahead of the last round, further built on his lead with birdies on the fifth, seventh, eighth and 12thwhere his good hitting form saw him land the ball within 10 feet.

Sitting with a comfortable four-shot lead after 12 holes on a day characterized by less wind and calm conditions, Dharma dropped two bogeys on the last six holes but also capitalized on the par-5s 14th and 18th with birdies to close out the match with relative ease.

 

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Dharma said, “I’ve had to wait a long time for this victory so I’m just soaking in the moment. My terrific ball-striking was the best aspect of my game this week. Even though I came close to winning a number of times over the last few years, I kept patience, didn’t lose heart and stuck to my task by continuing to practice hard. This positive approach finally paid off for me.

“Today I felt in control after making three birdies on the front-nine. The big change in my game has been that I now don’t get angry with myself or lose focus after dropping a bogey or two. I take it in my stride and look to come back stronger.”

 

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Khalin’s (67) final round featuring six birdies and a bogey helped him finish joint second.

Yashas (68) also continued his consistent showing with an eagle, four birdies and two bogeys to join the three-way tie for second place.

Saarthak (70) made three birdies and a bogey on Friday to finish as the third joint runner-up.