Shubham Jaglan played his fourth straight under par round at the 12th Asia Pacific Amateur Championship to end Tied-11th, the third best finish by an Indian in 12 editions of the event.
Jaglan did have four birdies but he also missed a lot of makeable putts. He also had two dropped two shots. His rounds of 70-68-69-69 saw him total 8-under 276 and placed just outside the top-10. It was a finish that will surely see him move up well from his current World Amateur Golf Ranking of 483.
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Of the other two Indians, who made the cut, Milind Soni (76) crumbled at the end with a bogey-triple bogey finish and was T-41, after being around T25 for the first three days. Akshay Neranjan (76) closed with a double bogey at the end to be T-45th. Rohan Dhole Patil, Arjun Gupta, Arkesh Bhatia and Aryan Roopa Anand missed the cut.
Meanwhile, World No. 1 amateur Keita Nakajima lived up to the billing of being the favourite. He booked himself a berth at the 2022 Masters and the 2022 Open Championship at St. Andrews by winning a play-off on the second extra hole over Hong Kong’s Taichi Kho, a surprise star, who was denied a present ahead of his 21st birthday next Saturday.
Jaglan, at one stage looked set even for a Top-5 as he was 3-under through 10 holes. “My game was really good for the first few holes. I was hitting it really close and gave myself a lot of good chances. So, I worked it to 3-under par through 10 but it was also frustrating because though I was giving myself a lot of good chances, I didn’t convert many putts,” he said.
“After the bogey on 13, I had a good look at 14 and did not make it – it was only six feet. And I three-putted 17 as well. So it was kind of a slow round. Yet overall I am happy.
“This is the biggest tournament I’ve played in my career, and I’m very happy with the way I played and I felt calm throughout the four rounds,” he added.
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Hong Kong’s Kho (65) lying T-5 overnight turned in a dramatic six-hole run with five birdies between ninth and 14th and set the target of 14-under. Nakajima, who held a one-shot lead over two-time champion Yuxin Lin (71), also had a four-shot lead over Kho, who was not in the picture till the back nine.
China’s Jin Bo (68), whose brother won AAC in 2015, and Korea’s Cho Wooyoung (65) were Tied-third. Defending champion Yuxin Lin gunning for a third title, ended T-7 after a triple and a double bogey.