Ma­hela Jayawar­dene holes a 20 foot putt to square the 116th Bur­dett Tro­phy

Sunday Times (Sri Lanka) - - SPORTS -

Ma­hela Jayawar­dene of cricket fame holed a 20 foot putt to square the 116th Bur­dett Tro­phy be­tween Nuwara Eliya Golf Club (NEGC) and Royal Colombo Golf Club ( RCGC). Bril­liant sun­shine greeted the 124 golfers who came up to Nuwara Eliya for the much awaited Bur­dett week­end last Satur­day.

NEGC hosted the 116th Bur­dett Tro­phy and the 82nd Puf­fin Cup which is a tour­na­ment be­tween the ladies of these two most pres­ti­gious Golf Clubs in the coun­try. The 125th An­niver­sary Tro­phy and the Mas­ters Tro­phy were also played along­side these tour­na­ments, thus cre­at­ing an ex­cit­ing at­mos­phere in the cool climes of Nuwara Eliya.

The Puf­fin four­some teed off early that morn­ing in chilly con­di­tions and was fol­lowed by the Bur­dett Four­somes. As the con­di­tions got a lit­tle warmer and com­fort­able, the Mas­ters team took on the chal­lenge to con­quer the tough ter­rain of this beau­ti­ful 18 hole course.

Fi­nally, the morn­ing ses­sion drew to a close as the 125th An­niver­sary teams took their turn as a four- ball for­mat where two play­ers from each team was drawn to com­pete with each other as 60 golfers took part in this for­mat of play.

The RCGC ladies re­turned with an un­beat­able lead of 4 matches to none, whilst the Bur­dett four­somes were a closer fin­ish with RCGC lead­ing 2 ½ matches to 1 ½ matches as the fi­nal match was an ex­cit­ing tie on the 18th hole with Kapila Dan­deniya an­other of crick­et­ing fame and young Praveen Dias hold­ing their nerve against Man­jula Chan­dra­soma and Priyanga Ha­pu­galle.

The scene was now set for an in­ter­est­ing fin­ish as the sin­gles teed off and the RCGC ladies were first in as they se­cured the Puf­fin Cup win­ning 6 matches to 2. Sharon Hall rep­re­sent­ing RCGC won both her dou­bles and sin­gles matches con­vinc­ingly for the win­ners.

The Bur­dett sin­gles were an in­tense com­pe­ti­tion as their skills and men­tal tough­ness were tested to the hilt on this de­mand­ing course which re­wards good po­si­tional play and strat­egy.

Sachin De Silva, the star player in the NEGC team stamped his class as he won 5/ 4 fol­lowed by Chamara Abeyratne who had al­ready won his four­some match that morn­ing and then Nooni Seth­wala brought in the next win for NEGC. There­after, the pres­i­dent of NEGC, Ma­jor Gen­eral Sri­nath Ra­japakse proved that ex­pe­ri­ence mat­tered as much as skill as he over­came a much younger op­po­nent and won his sec­ond con­sec­u­tive match for the day. The RCGC Vice Cap­tain, W.A.K. Fer­nando pulled back the next match for RCGC as did Sheron Fer­nando, an ex­pe­ri­enced Bur­dett cam­paigner.

As it seemed that the fi­nal match in progress be­tween Avi­nesh Nareshku­mar and Chan­dana Weeras­inghe could not be com­pleted due to bad light, it re­sulted in Avi­nesh rep­re­sent­ing RCGC se­cur­ing a win as at the 9th hole.

The fo­cus now turned to­wards the fi­nal match that was ap­proach­ing the 18th hole in vir­tual dark­ness be­tween Kushal John­pil­lai and Ma­hela Jayawar­dene.

As both Kushal and Ma­hela got on the green for 3 on the par 5 18th hole, Kushal was un­for­tu­nate to miss out on a birdie by just a few inches. Then, the spot­light lit­er­ally fell on Ma­hela as he lined up for a 20 foot putt. With nerves of steel, Ma­hela holed it to the amaze­ment of ev­ery­one around and helped RCGC tie the 116th Bur­dett Tro­phy in one of the most ex­cit­ing tour­na­ments in re­cent times.

The Mas­ters Tro­phy, cap­tained by Ni­mal Per­era went to RCGC, and the 125th Tro­phy re­sulted in a tie al­though Team NEGC, cap­tained by Trevine Fer­nan­dop­ulle re­tained the Tro­phy by virtue of their win in 2017.

The prize giv­ing and team din­ner that fol­lowed was well at­tended with live mu­sic and a siz­zling bar­beque which kept the play­ers and in­vi­tees in good spir­its. Ma­hela was in­deed the hero that evening as he pre­pares to daz­zle and make head­lines in golf with his stylish swing.

166th Bur­dett Tro­phy Teams: RCGC: Avanka Herath ( Team Cap­tain), Chan­dra Gu­nasek­era, Sheron Fer­nando, San­jeewa Wick ram ana yake,W.A.K. Fer­nando, Da­min­dra Fer­nando, Avi­nesh Nareshku­mar, Ma­hela Jayawar­dena, Arvind Fer­nando, San­jiv Vaira­vanathan, Praveen Dias, Ra­jeev Ra­japakse,

NEGC: Har­sha Abey­wick­rama (Team Cap­tain ), S rina th Ra­japakse, Su­dath Ku­mara, B. P. N. Ha­pu­galle and Chan dana Weeras­inghe, Af­flli Ra­heem, Chamara Abeyratne, Kushal John­pil­lai, Sachin de Silva, No­ordeen Seth­vala and Man­jula Chan­dra­soma.

As both Kushal and Ma­hela got on the green for 3 on the par 5 18th hole, Kushal was un­for­tu­nate to miss out on a birdie by just a few inches. Then, the spot­light lit­er­ally fell on Ma­hela as he lined up for a 20 foot putt. With nerves of steel, Ma­hela holed it to the amaze­ment of ev­ery­one around and helped RCGC tie the 116th Bur­dett Tro­phy in one of the most ex­cit­ing way

Teams RCGC (L) and NEGC (R), who com­peted at the 116th Bur­dett Tro­phy

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