Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Aiken seals Avantha win with a kiss

updated 1:37 PM EDT, Sun March 17, 2013
Thomas Aiken of South Africa celebrates with wife Kate after winning the Avantha Masters in India.
Thomas Aiken of South Africa celebrates with wife Kate after winning the Avantha Masters in India.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Thomas Aiken won Avantha Masters in India Sunday
  • South African takes home winning prize of $392,000
  • India's Gaganjeet Bhullar finished three shots back in second
  • Prayad Marksaeng won Thai Open by two strokes

(CNN) -- Thomas Aiken ensured South Africa continued to dominate the European Tour events after claiming victory by three shots at the Avantha Masters in India Sunday

Aiken sealed the top prize of $392,000 after seeing off local favorite Gaganjeet Bhullar at the Greg Norman-designed par-72 Jaypee Greens outside New Delhi.

The 29-year-old is the sixth South African to win a European tour event this year following Charl Schwartzel's victory at the Alfred Dunhill championships, Louis Oosthuizen's win at the Volvo Golf Champions, Richard Sterne's success in Johannesburg, Darren Fichardt's triumph at the Africa Open and Dawie Van der Walt's effort at the Tshwane Open.

Aiken, who is from Johannesburg, held off the challenge of Bhullar, who birdied the first three holes, had an eagle on the fifth before a spectacular finish saw him birdie three of the last five holes.

"It's a big relief to win because the others played unbelievable golf," 2011 Open de Espana winner Aiken told reporters.

Kaymer's magical Medinah putt
Distraction: Tiny golf prodigy
Manassero: Masters was incredible

"There was no breathing space the whole day with Gaganjeet having so many birdies towards the end.

"It was no walk in the park, but I think I played the par-fives well. This has been a fantastic week in India and ended just the way I wanted it to."

Read: Tiger tames the Blue Monster

The home supporters had hoped Bhullar could give them something to celebrate, but despite being roared on by around 500 fans, he was unable to catch Aiken at the top of the leaderboard.

"After a few weeks, no one will remember that I came second. Everyone will only talk of Thomas," he told reporters.

"But the important thing is that my game has improved.

"This tournament was like a putting competition. Everyone was hitting the ball long, it all depended on how you putted. I thought Thomas would make a mistake somewhere, but he played solidly the last two days."

Read: Els' coach wants quick belly putter decision

Elsewhere, Prayad Marksaeng became only the third Thai to win his country's national championship after claiming a two-stroke win to claim the $180,000 top prize at the Thailand Open Sunday.

"This means so much to me," Prayad said, according to a statement by the tournament organizers.

"Yes I cried a bit... I am happy the King's Trophy will stay in Thailand."

Prayad jumped into the lake by the 18th green in celebration after carding 24-under-par for the tournament.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:24 AM EDT, Fri August 8, 2014
From Seve's "spine-shivering" moment to Jack Nicklaus' "perfect explosion," David Cannon has captured many of golf's defining images.
updated 9:20 AM EDT, Thu August 7, 2014
They came home as casualties of war -- physically shattered and mentally broken. But golf is proving to be an unlikely salvation for U.S. veterans.
updated 8:31 AM EDT, Tue August 5, 2014
You are the one hitting the shots, but the man standing over your shoulder could hold the key to your golfing destiny.
updated 8:27 AM EDT, Mon July 21, 2014
PINEHURST, NC - JUNE 10: Rory McIlroy (R) of Northern Ireland talks with his dad Gerry McIlroy (L) during a practice round prior to the start of the 114th U.S. Open at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club, Course No. 2 on June 10, 2014 in Pinehurst, North Carolina. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
He has been there for all three of his son's major wins, but the latest triumph may well have been the sweetest yet for Rory McIlroy's father.
updated 8:18 AM EDT, Wed July 9, 2014
The next generation of golfers just keeps on getting younger. "They have the confidence to perform against their idols," says one ex-prodigy.
updated 7:59 AM EDT, Tue July 1, 2014
He was Spain's ultimate matador and golf's greatest escape artist.
updated 11:36 AM EDT, Wed June 18, 2014
Rory McIlroy has announced he wants to represent Ireland at the Rio Olympics in 2016.
Two-time major champion Rory McIlroy declares he'll represent Ireland at the Rio Olympics, not Great Britain.
updated 10:48 PM EDT, Mon April 28, 2014
Already admired by Annika Sorenstam and with a bucketful of talent, New Zealand's Lydia Ko has the world of golf at her feet.
updated 7:30 AM EDT, Mon April 28, 2014
Mike O'Connor, UK FootGolf
Like footie? Partial to a bit of golf? Then you'll love FootGolf. The sport's growing fan base includes a host of former English Premier League stars.
updated 9:43 AM EDT, Thu April 24, 2014
Golfers at at Barkway Park don't seem to concerned and have been taking pictures and videos of the bird when it appears on the greens and fairways.
A runaway ostrich-like bird hiding near an English golf course has caused quite a stir. Some say it's dangerous, while others are cashing in.
updated 8:38 AM EDT, Tue April 22, 2014
Eagles may be thin on the ground for most golfers at the Bear Trace course at Harrison Bay. But up in the treetops, it's a different matter.
updated 1:54 PM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
When someone tells you to go jump in a lake, sometimes it's best to take their advice. "I've never been so scared," says golfer Pablo Larrazabal.
ADVERTISEMENT