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Aiken wins Avantha Masters by three strokes

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Associated Press
3/17/2013 1:53:31 PM
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GREATER NOIDA, India -- South African Thomas Aiken clinched the second European Tour title of his career Sunday as he shot a 5-under 67 for a 23-under total of 265 to win the Avantha Masters.

Overnight leader Aiken fired three birdies on the front nine and two more on his way back to maintain a three-shot lead over the chasing pack.

India's Gaganjeet Bhullar rallied for an 8-under 64 that included three birdies on his last five holes to finish runner-up after starting the final round six strokes behind Aiken in joint eighth.

Chinese player Liang Wenchong shot a 3-under 69 to finish third on 270, the highlight of his final day's card coming with an ace on the par-3 No. 7.

"I hit a lot of greens though not too many shots close to the hole," said Aiken, whose compatriot Jbe Kruger won here last year but failed to make the cut this time around.

Aiken added that the course had posed a considerable challenge to the players despite the low scores.

"It was not a walk in the park for me. Neither was it the easiest golf course to play on even though a lot of people made it look easy," Aiken said.

Despite finishing second, Bhullar was disappointed to miss out on the victory.

"I told myself to go for it because no one bothers whether you've finished second or 40th," Bhullar said.

Thomas Aiken (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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