Kathmandu, Apr 26 UNI | 3 months ago

Chikkarangappa S (69-65-67-72) of Bangalore lifted the Surya Nepal Masters 2014 trophy after defeating Kolkata's Shankar Das (67-70-68-68) in a playoff at the Gokarna Forest Golf Resort here in Nepal today.

Chikkarangappa and Das went into the playoff after both players ended up with the tournament's best total scores of 15-under-273 from the regulation 72 holes. Abhijit Singh Chadha of Chandigarh and Faridabad golfer Abhinav Lohan were in tied third at 14-under-274.

Chikkarangappa and Shankar made pars on the first playoff hole but the second hole proved to be decisive as Chikkarangappa landed it within seven feet and sank the all-important putt for birdie even as Shankar missed his birdie putt from 15 feet. The 20-year-old Chikka thus bagged his second title and walked away with the winner's cheque worth INR 4,84,950.

Earlier in the day, Chikkarangappa, the overnight leader by three shots, turned in a card of even-par-72 with three birdies and three bogeys. He started well with a birdie on the third but bogeys on the seventh, eighth and 14th seemed to have almost dashed his title hopes. However, the 2013 PGTI Emerging Player of the Year rallied with long birdie putts on the 16th and 18th to take the match into a playoff.

Chikkarangappa said, "It's been a fabulous week. My good scores in the second and third rounds set up the win. I made some crucial putts today and didn't let pressure get the better of me. I recovered well during regulation play despite finding the water on the seventh and hitting it out of bounds on the 14th. There were several contenders in towards the late stages of the final round but I just concentrated on taking the opportunities that came my way.'

'I made a few changes to my game after my first win last year. The main alteration in my game was related to the position of my left hand on the club. The changes have helped me play better," he said.

Shankar Das, looking for his fifth win, posted five birdies and a bogey in his round of 68. Das, who was overnight tied third, was the leader on Saturday till the 17th hole before Chikka made a birdie on the 18th.

Former champion Abhijit Singh Chadha shared third position with Abhinav Lohan at 14-under. Chadha, who was the leader at one stage on the final day, fired a 68 on day four with six birdies and a double-bogey. Lohan shot a 70 today.

Local favourite Shivaram Shrestha produced the day's joint best score, a five-under-67, to secure tied fifth at 13-under-275 and finish as the highest-placed Nepalese golfer. Panchkula's Angad Cheema joined Shrestha in tied fifth after shooting a 68 in round four.

(Posted on 27-04-2014)