Chikka con­tin­ues surge with tri­umph

DNA (Daily News & Analysis) Mumbai Edition - - FRONT PAGE - DNA Cor­re­spon­dent [email protected]­

Mum­bai: Bengaluru’s Chikkarangappa S pulled out a flaw­less fi­nal round of six­un­der-65 to out­class the rest of the field and emerge tri­umphant by two shots at 20-un­der-264 at the PGTI’S sea­son-open­ing Rs40 lakh Gol­conda Mas­ters Golf Cham­pi­onship 2019, pow­ered by Te­lan­gana Tourism and In­cred­i­ble In­dia.

Patna’s Aman Raj pro­duced the last day’s best round of seven-un­der-64 to fin­ish joint run­ner-up at 18-un­der-266 along with Bengaluru’s M Dharma (69).

Chikkarangappa (65-64-7065), ly­ing tied sec­ond and two short off the lead go­ing into the fi­nal round, en­joyed a pos­i­tive day.

He had a roar­ing start as he landed his sec­ond shots within four feet on the first and sec­ond to score birdies on both holes and take the early lead even as overnight leader Dharma dropped a bo­gey on the sec­ond.

There was no look­ing back for Chikka from there on since he added two more birdies on the eighth and ninth, both be­ing tap-ins. An­other fruit­ful spell came about with birdies on the 11th and 12th where the two-time Asian De­vel­op­ment Tour win­ner knocked in his long­est putts of the day from nine feet and 15 feet, re­spec­tively.

Chikka then made pars all the way till the end for a clin­i­cal fin­ish as his near­est ri­vals strug­gled to catch up. The Asian Tour reg­u­lar picked up five world rank­ing points in the first ever PGTI event to be part of the Of­fi­cial World Golf Rank­ing sys­tem. He also leads the PGTI Or­der of Merit with earn­ings of Rs6,46,600 from this event.

“I had an out­stand­ing week with as many as 28 birdies,” Chikka said. “I at­tribute my per­for­mance to my much-im­proved ball­strik­ing. My tee shots and ap­proach shots were ter­rific to­day. I re­ally wanted to fin­ish well at the HGC as my pre­vi­ous best here had been 10th at the in­au­gu­ral edi­tion. That thought mo­ti­vated me to give it my best to­day since I also knew that I will need a bo­gey-free ef­fort.”

Chikka’s ca­reer graph has been on the up­swing since he ended a two-year long ti­tle­drought on the PGTI in Novem­ber last year. He fol­lowed that up with a run­ner-up fin­ish at an Asian Tour event in Mau­ri­tius that helped him seal his card in Asia.

The 25-year-old then posted an­other sec­ond-place fin­ish at the PGTI’S sea­son-end­ing event in De­cem­ber.

Chikkarangappa S re­ceives the tro­phy from Dr. Rajat Ku­mar, IAS, chief elec­toral of­fi­cer, Te­lan­gana state and Mr. J Vikramdev Rao, pres­i­dent, HGA

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