Sagar Media inc
Chikkarangappa’s career-graph continues upswing; Bengalurean prevails by two shots after a flawless final round 65 at Golconda Masters 2019 Powered By Telangana Tourism & Incredible India
Hyderabad, February 9, 2019: Bengaluru’s Chikkarangappa S pulled out a flawless final round of six-under-65 to outclass the rest of the field and emerge triumphant by two shots at 20-under-264 at the PGTI’s season-opener, the Rs. 40 lakh Golconda Masters Golf Championship 2019 Powered By Telangana Tourism and Incredible India.
Chikka’s career-graph has been on the upswing since he ended a two-year long title-drought 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. Chikka’s 12th career win achieved at the magnificent Hyderabad Golf Club (HGC) on Saturday saw him continue his golden run.
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 (65-64-70-65), lying tied second, two off the lead, going into the final round, enjoyed a day as bright as the colour of his trousers, which was orange. 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 (ADT) 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 thus picked up 5 world ranking points in the first ever PGTI event to be part of the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) system. He also leads the PGTI Order of Merit with earnings of Rs. 6,46,600 from the season-opener.
Chikka said, “I had an outstanding week with as many as 28 birdies. I attribute my performance to my much-improved ball-striking. 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.
“The relatively short birdie putts on the front-nine had eased the pressure on me. After my sixth birdie of the day on the 12th, I felt I needed two more birdies to seal it because I didn’t want a close finish or a playoff. I didn’t manage those birdies despite trying hard but I still played well on the final stretch to keep my lead.
“The supportive crowd kept me going with their cheering. The huge gallery inspired me to try a fancy second shot on the 15th which came off just as I had intended it to. I landed the ball on the rock beside the green and the ball deflected back on to the green to set up a two-putt for par.
“The win at the Jeev Milkha Singh Invitational in Chandigarh in November last year just got me on a roll and put my golfing career back on track. I’ve been playing some of my best golf since then. This win serves as a perfect start to the season. I’m delighted to be the winner of the PGTI’s first ever event with world ranking points. This will go down in history.”
Aman Raj gained six spots from his overnight tied eighth after an error-free fourth round of 64.
M Dharma, the third round leader by two shots, dropped to tied second on day four after a 69 that featured four birdies and two bogeys.
Chandigarh’s Karandeep Kochhar (69) took fourth place at 16-under-268 while the trio consisting of last year’s champion Udayan Mane of Ahmedabad, Gurugram-based rookie Priyanshu Singh and Delhi’s Honey Baisoya shared fifth place at 15-under-269.