Kathmandu/Bangalore, Apr 25 UNI | 3 months ago

Karnataka's lad 20-year-old S Chikkarangappa is on the verge of lifting Surya Nepal Masters title under progress at Kathmandu.

He is on the verge of his first victory of the season after firing a five-under 678 to take a three-stroke lead at the end of the third round of the Surya Nepal Masters. Chikka was sitting pretty at 15-under 201 for the tournament, according to reports reaching here.

In his short professional career, spanning just over 18 months, Chikka has had big achievements on the Indian Professional Circuit after finishing second on the PGTI Order of Merit in 2013.

This edition of the Surya Nepal Masters has brought the youth brigade to the fore with four amongst the top seven on the leaderboard. On a day of fluctuating fortunes, Abhinav Lohan brought in the best card of the day as overnight leader Shamim Khan and opening round leader Angad Cheema shot an identical 1-over par 73 to slip to the tied-fifth and seventh positions respectively at 10-under 206. Feroz Ali Mollah showed some vintage form to shoot seven birdies and an eagle in his 66 and be tied with Shankar Das for the third position at 11-under 205. Abhijit Singh Chadha was tied with Shamim while Shivaram Shrestha emerged as the best Nepali professional after submitting a card of 3-under 69 to be in the eighth position with a 54-hole tally of 8-under par 208.

Sanjay Lama was the next best at 6-under 210 and was tied for the 11th position. Umesh Nagarkoti shot a four-under 68 to catapult into the top-15 and be tied with four others. Amongst the amateurs, Bikash Bogati slipped to the tied-46th position after a 6-over round while Sanjeev CK was in the 51st position. Both the amateurs had made the professional cut, a rarity on any Tour but more importantly showcases the standard of improvement in the growth of the game in this Himalayan country, thanks to the largesse of Surya Nepal Pvt. Ltd.

(Posted on 26-04-2014)