Pratap wins a thriller at Tata Steel Amateur Golf

Mumbai, Dec 15 : The famous adage 'the slip between the cup and the lip' could not be proved right in a better way than the finish of the Tata Steel 113th Amateur Golf Championship of India as the top seed Karan Taunk's eagle putt on the regulation 36th hole stopped at the lip.

The putt could have given him his first major title on the Tour. However due credit should be given to challenger Pratap Atwal, seeded 14th, who fought back brilliantly from being 7-down after 21 holes to first bridge the gap with some fabulous drives and putts and then put pressure on Karan to walk away with the prestigious title at the Bombay Presidency Golf Club here on Sunday.

In what seemed to be a one-sided affair with Karan dominating the first 18 holes where he birdied the last three holes to be 6-Up at the breaker and extended the lead to 7-Up by the 20th hole, largely to the effort of his driver, things turned around on the 22nd hole (par-5 fourth hole of the course).

Holing a 20-footer curling putt for an eagle, the 22-year-old Pratap watched by his father who flew in from Delhi, reduced the margin to 6-down and won the next three holes with birdies. A poor second shot from Karan, helped him to reduce the margin to 2-down with nine holes to go.

Capitalising on the momentum, Pratap made a brilliant birdie on the 28th hole (par-3, 10th) to reduce the margin to 1-down as the crowd swelled on learning about Pratap's comeback. Pratap who is the first cousin of Arjun Atwal made it all square on the 29th (par-4, 11th) with a par.

After the next two holes were halved, Karan showed a semblance of his earlier form when he made a birdie to go 1-up on the 32nd hole. However he missed a sitter on the 16th as parity was restored.

After both the players halved the par-3 35th with pars, Pratap made a brilliant sandy birdie while Karan missed his eagle putt by a whisker.

With both players going hammer and tongs, the issue was resolved on the 37th hole where once again Karan missed a 4-feet birdie putt which could have extended the match but unfortunately could not thwart his destiny.

"I am thrilled and have no words to describe the moment," said Pratap. "After being 7-down, there was nothing to lose and then I thought of attacking the pins," said the stocky golfer who played seven-under for the last 18 holes.

"I dedicate this win to my dad and mom and my coach Jesse Grewal," said the champion who is with GAIL.

Final results (36 hole)

14-Pratap Atwal bt 1-Karan Taunk 37th

--IBNS (Posted on 16-12-2013)

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