Edited by Anand Datla
Bengaluru, December 7: The Tata Steel 114th Amateur Golf Championship of India reached its climax when home favourite Trishul Chinnappa emerged victorious in a tense finish over city mate Syed Saqib Ahmed 2&1 in a high quality final at the Par – 72 Karnataka Golf Association.
With both lads knowing the conditions of their home course at the back of their hands, it was meant to be an even contest. After testing Saqib over the first four holes, Trishul took the lead with a birdie on the fifth hole. He sunk in another birdie two holes later to go two up while Saqib finally managed to hole out a birdie putt on the eighth to reduce the deficit to one-up. With Trishul’s putter getting hot, he made another birdie on the ninth to take the turn two-up. On the 11th, Trishul upped the ante with a rescue approach in to the Par 5 and holed out for an eagle to go three-up.
In contrast, Saqib was unable to make the crucial birdie putts as was evident on the 12th where he missed out on getting one back. However, a par was enough to get him the next hole as Trishul made the only mistake of the first 18 holes. Trishul then made back to back birdies, the first by making a double break putt and then from eight feet on the Par 3 15th hole to go four-up. His sixth birdie of the day on the 17th to go with an eagle, gave him a huge five-up lead after the first 18 holes of the final.
The break gave Saqib time to gather his thoughts as he knew it was Trishul’s brilliance that was dictating how the match was going and not because of his own mistakes.
It clearly worked as the second 18 holes of the final changed the complexion of the game with Saqib staging a strong comeback with a birdie on the 20th hole (second of the course). Another birdie on the Par 5 23rd (fifth of the course) hole gave momentum to Saqib as he continued eating in to Trishul’s lead. The 21-year-old champion found the hazard over the 8th green (26th of the match) which gave Saqib the hole on a bogey. Sensing more blood, Saqib went three wood-three wood to the fringe of the long par 5 from where he made an up and down for a birdie and was trailing only one-down as they went out as Saqib roared with delight.
On the 29th hole (11th of the course), Saqib recovered from an erroneous tee shot to save par and halve the hole. Trishul took the next one to go two-up with a par before striking a killer blow on the 33rd hole (15th of the course) with a birdie. With the match dormie 3, Trishul hooked his tee-shot into the hazard to lose the hole on par. Saqib needed to win the next two holes to stay in the match but Trishul’s par for a half sealed a 2&1 win for him amid special scenes on the 17th green.
“I’m ecstatic with my win as this was the one tournament I wanted to win before I’d turn pro.” Said the smiling winner. He added, “I was playing special golf in the morning and I want to thank everyone who has been involved in my progression as a player and a human being and made this possible.”
Result – Final (36 holes):
6 – Trishul Chinnappa beat 9 – Syed Saqib Ahmed 2 & 1