Avantha Masters: Thomas Aiken closed out second European Tour win
Last Updated: 18/03/13 11:25am
Aiken secures Avantha victory
Thomas Aiken closed with a bogey-free 67 to claim a three-shot victory at the Avantha Masters.
The South African's five-under effort in the final round took him to 23-under-par overall and earned him the second European Tour victory of his career.
Aiken, three ahead overnight after firing a 62 on Saturday, reached the turn in 34 thanks to birdies at the second and fifth.
(GB & Ire unless stated)
-23 T Aiken (SA)
-20 G Bhullar (Ind)
-18 L Wenchong (Chn)
-17 K Aphibarnrat (Tha)
-16 S-H Baek (Kor)
Click here for collated scores
And three further birdies on the back nine, including at the 18th, closed out the 29-year-old's triumph at the Jaypee Greens Golf and Spa resort in New Delhi.
His nearest challenger was India's Gaganjeet Bhullar, whose eight-under 64 was the low round of the day and left him on 20-under-par for the tournament.
Bhullar twice got within two shots of the lead but no closer as Aiken - who had a long and nervous wait on the 18th tee as the group in front got a ruling - became the sixth South African to win on the European Tour this season.
China's Liang Wenchong, playing alongside Aiken, had a hole-in-one at the par-three seventh before his challenge petered out during the back nine and his 69 placed him third at 18-under-par.
"They just kept coming at me today," said Aiken, whose previous title came at the Spanish Open in 2011.
"I tried my best to get a little bit of a lead but couldn't get it going, everyone was holing everything. Finally I can have a bit of a breather."
On his wait at the final hole, he added: "It's not the easiest tee-shot in the world but I managed to hit a fairly decent one.
"I didn't really want to miss the fairway because I have been getting fliers out of the rough all week and I got another one, but it worked out well."
England's David Horsey shot a final round of 67 to finish in a tie for sixth with Australian Scott Hend (70) and Scotland's David Drysdale (71), while Spain's Alvaro Quiros (73) was joint 56th on his first start after a four-month injury lay-off following wrist surgery.