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Mithun Perera of SLPA emerges winner at  Haryana Open
 2011 Golf Tournament

 

Mithun Perera of Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) achieved the commendable feat of winning his first professional title in his rookie season after he shot an even par 72 in the final round of the Haryana Open 2011 presented by HUDA, Vatika & PGC recently. Perera ended up with a tournament total of 18-under 270. Delhi’s Ashok Kumar fired a blistering bogey-free 64 to finish one stroke behind the winner in second place.

Mithun Perera (68-66-64-72), the overnight leader by nine strokes, made a slow start to the day with a bogey-birdie on the fourth and fifth. Perera looked a little out of sorts when he dropped another bogey on the seventh as a result of a three-putt. Ashok Kumar (70-69-68-64) had narrowed the gap to three strokes at this stage as he made three birdies and an eagle on the first seven holes.

Mithun went on to birdie the eighth and ninth but Ashok’s birdies on the 10th and 11th kept him in the race. After Mithun bogeyed the 12th and Ashok birdied the 15th there was just a one-stroke difference. At that stage it seemed the experienced Ashok was on course to pull-off a miraculous win after being nine strokes behind the leader at the start of the day. However, Mithun prevailed at the end and Ashok fell just short as the two golfers made pars on the last three holes.

Perera held his nerve to convert an eight feet par putt on the 18th that helped him seal the victory. Ashok, on the other hand, two-putted from about 15 feet on the final hole and therefore could not force a playoff with Perera.

Perera, who has now climbed from 14th place to fifth position on the Rolex Rankings for 2011, said that he hit all fairways the day  even though his  putting wasn’t that great. “I hit some shots extremely close to the flag for birdies on the fifth and eighth. The two three-putts on the seventh and 12th were disappointing. Nonetheless, I was very proud of the final putt for victory that came in a high-pressure situation. Ashok gave me a scare with his fabulous effort. He was hitting all fairways and putting well. However, I stuck to my plan of at least shooting an even par. I knew it would be really difficult for him to shoot a nine under so I just kept focusing on trying for a 72. I played regulation golf on some holes but went for the pin on the others where I was well-placed after the tee shot. This is a huge victory for me as this is just my first season as a professional. I hope to carry this form forward,” he said.

Chiragh Kumar (71-70-67-67) of Delhi carded a second straight 67 to finish third at 13 under 275.

Mukesh Kumar of Mhow, the first round leader, ended up in fourth place at 12 under 276 after he shot a 68 in round four. Mukesh has now climbed back to the top of the Rolex Rankings.

Kapurthala-based amateur Ashbeer Saini won the trophy for the best amateur score in the tournament. Saini finished overall tied 12th at four under 284.

Following his latest victory Mithun Perera has also received the invitation for the Barclays Singapore Open 2011 which is one of the biggest World Class Golf Tournaments held in Asia that will be held from 10th to 13th November. Mithun Perera is the son of veteran Sri Lankan Golfer Nandasena Perera. Since 2009 Mithun   serves attached to the  Secretariat of  Sri Lanka Ports Authority.
(CPRD-13102011)

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