Edited by Anand Datla
Bengaluru, December 6: Local lads Syed Saqib Ahmed and Trishul Chinnappa came through their respective semifinals of the Tata Steel 114th Amateur Golf Championship Of India in contrasting fashion to earn a shot at becoming the 2014 National Amateur Champion here at their home course of Karnataka Golf Association on the morrow.
The ninth seed Saqib showed a lot of grit to recover from being 1 down with two holes to play when he sank a thirty footer for birdie, putting the challenger Pukhraj Singh Gill of Chandigarh under pressure to make an eight footer to halve the hole. He missed it by inches and the match went all square with one hole to play. From the 18th tee, both missed the fairway on the right with Pukhraj finding the woods. From amongst the trees, he hit a low approach that resulted in a lost ball while Saqib had a green in regulation to virtually seal the match. Pukhraj, who earlier made a fast start by going 1 Up after the first hole and after falling behind and brought the match to all-square thrice, made a last ditched effort to hole out for a par on the 18th. He missed the green altogether playing from a very difficult lie and finally conceded the hole to Saqib who won 1 Up.
“I’m so relieved to get through to my first All India final after what Pukhraj produced on the back nine.” Said the winner, Saqib. He added, “I enjoyed the birdie on the 17th and cannot wait for tomorrow.”
In the other semifinal between local lads Trishul and Rahul Ravi, the sixth seed went 2 Up after 2 holes with a birdie and a par. Rahul halved his deficit on the 4th hole with a par before rolling in a birdie to peg the match at all square. Trishul hit birdie on the 12th to go 1 up and on the 13th a par was enough to double his lead. Rahul, disappointed with a bogey on the Par 3 15th hole as the match went dormie with three holes to play. He tried to give it his all on the 16th that resulted in a wayward drive from which he could not recover and Trishul safely took home a 4&2 win.
“Rahul and I have played together since we were eleven so it felt like old times competing against him. I could have putted better today and I’m looking forward another good match tomorrow against Saqib as I’ll look to keep the ball in play and take it from there.” Said the finalist, Trishul.
In a repeat of the 2013 Sri Lanka Amateur Golf Championship final, Saqib will face Trishul in an all-KGA final over 36 holes of match play. Trishul will be looking for a revenge of sorts as Saqib had edged him in that final.
Results – Semi Finals (seedings precede the name):
9 – Syed Saqib Ahmed beat 20 – Pukhraj Singh Gill 1 UP
6 – TrishulChinnappa beat 31 – Rahul Ravi 4 & 2
Line Up – Final (36 holes):
9 – Syed Saqib Ahmed versus 6 – Trishul Chinnappa