Chikka wins a thriller at Surya
The golfing enthusiasts could not have asked for a better ending to the tale of the Surya Nepal Masters 2014. Four youngsters - Abhinav Lohan, Chikkarangappa S, Abhijit Singh Chadha and Shankar Das - jostled for the title with each one of them leading at certain stages of the final round. In the end, Shankar emerged the club house leader at 15-under.
Overnight leader, Chikka, who had been written off while being two strokes behind the leader, made two birdies in the last three holes to get into a play-off with Shankar after both ended with a similar total of 15-under 273 at the end of 72 holes of regulation play and beat the Kolkatan on the second play-off hole (Hole No.18) at the Gokarna Forest Resort here on Saturday.
Chikka walked away with the winner's cheque of NRs 775,920 for his effort while Shankar was richer by NRs 535,920. Abhijit and Abhinav earned NRs 271,920 each for a share of third place.
A little earlier, local hero Shivaram Shrestha raised the hopes of defending the title when he was two shots off the leader with two holes to go after having fired five birdies and an eagle against two bogeys. However, despite firing the day's best score of 5-under 67, the Nepal No.1 had to settle for the tied-fifth position along with the opening day's leader Angad Cheema with both of them finishing at 13-under 275.
Shamim Khan who led at the end of 36-holes, finished seventh at 11-under 277 while Feroz Ali Mollah was eighth at 10-under 278. Former winner Ashbeer Saini matched the day's best to catapult to the tied-ninth position along with Gulfam, Sanjay Kumar and Sanjay Lama who emerged as the second-best Nepali professional at 8-under 280.
Bikas Bogati a trainee as the Surya Nepal NGA Youth Coaching Programme won the amateur title with a tally of 11-over 299 and finished in the tied-47th position overall with Sanjeev CK finishing runner-up, five strokes behind him.
The winners were felicitated by the Minister for Communication and Information, Government of Nepal Mr. Abhimanyu Poddar along with Abhimanyu Poddar, the Managing Director of Surya Nepal Pvt. Ltd.
Earlier, Shankar, playing ahead of the leader group, mixed aggression with caution and was fairly successful as he had clean slate on his front nine while making three birdies on the third, fifth and the seventh. On the back nine, a bogey on the opening hole was improved upon with birdies on the 12th and 17th hole to finish at 4-under for the day.
Chikka after having made a comfortable start after a birdie on the third, made back to back bogeys on the par-5 seventh and the tough par-3 eighth to take the turn at 1-over. On the back nine, he made another bogey on the par-4 14th to go down to the fourth position. However, the birdie on the long par-3 16th put him back to track and with another birdie on the finishing hole, Chikka entered the play-off.
Abhijit Singh Chadha after a forgettable front nine where he made a double bogey on the eighth after a birdie on the third, launched an assault in his back nine where he fired five birdies without any loss of any stroke. However despite his late charge, he felt short of one stroke to get into a play-off. Abhinav Lohan with three birdies on his front nine looked set to take a shot at the title as he too was in a 3-way lead by then. However, an indifferent form on his back nine where he made three bogeys against two birdies spoiled his chances of what could have been his maiden title.
Top scores after 72 holes
273 Chikkarangappa S (69, 65, 67, 72), Shankar Das (67, 70, 68, 68); 274 Abhijit Singh Chadha (71, 67, 68, 68), Abhinav Lohan (69, 69, 66, 70); 275 Shivaram Shrestha (Nep) (67, 72, 69, 67), Angad Cheema (64, 70, 73, 68); 277 Shamim Khan (66, 67, 73, 71); 278 Feroz Ali Mollah (70, 69, 66, 73); 280 Ashbeer Singh Saini (70, 71, 72, 67), Gulfam (70, 72, 70, 68), Sanjay Lama (Nep) (68, 70, 72, 70), Sanjay Kumar (72, 69, 68, 71).
(Posted on 26-04-2014)