Chikka overcomes Pritam to retain title

S Chikkarangappa unleashed the aggressive spirit within him in grand style for the second day in succession to extend his reign as the all-India amateur golf champion here on Sunday. Just when everyone thought dark house Pritam Haridas would cut short his stay at the top after racing to a six-hole lead with just 12 played, a tenacious Chikkarangappa clawed his back in astonishing fashion to script a unforgettable 3&2 win in a gruelling 36-hole final at the Karnataka Golf Association.

“I am extremely happy with my performance today,” said a beaming Chikkarangappa, who last year became the youngest winner of the crown. “Although I was six down, I never gave up. I told my caddie there still were 24 holes to play and everything is possible. I just kept believing in myself and I am really proud to have done it.”The start was anything but good for the all-India junior champion. The starting problem that has so often bogged him down all through the event made its presence felt again as the 17-year-old failed to control his game.

Clearly struggling with his driving, Chikkarangappa tried to counter it with his short game, but to his dismay, even that was inconsistent. However, the brilliant teenager showed great heart in countering every hardship that came his way. Despite being at the receiving end of some wonderful golfing from Pritam who in a trail of blaze racked up four holes on the trot from the ninth to 12th to go 6-up was nerveless. He repaid the 20-year-old in kind in winning four in a row from the 15th to the 18th to end the morning session 2-down


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