Tightly fought contests and some unexpected results were the order of the day at the LG All-India Amateur Golf Championship that is being played at the par-72 Royal Calcutta Golf Club (RCGC) here. While most of the higher ranked players moved on to the next round,Jasjeet Singh was ousted by Imamul Haque. Vikram Rana,the number two on the Order of Merit list,almost faced a similar fate before he edged ahead of SK Pappu to win his match on the fourth extra playoff hole.
In another match,Rahul Bajaj had to play two extra playoff holes before he won against Parvesh Baisoya.
Abhishek Jha,winner of the last two tournaments on the Amateur Tour was given a real fright before a 30-foot birdie putt on the final playoff hole brought down the curtains on the challenge posed by Raja Sardar.
He (Sardar) played an incredible game I have never seen such great putting before. He had only nine putts in the first nine holes, Jha said. Other than the playoff hole where he missed a five-footer for birdie,I dont think he missed any other putt. My heart almost stopped beating, he added.
Meanwhile,young Rashid Khan had to overcome a stiff challenge posed by Mohammad Wazir,a former junior No 1 on a comeback trail. A poor tee shot from Wazir on the final hole sealed the deal in Rashids favour but it was still too close for comfort. The Delhi lad,winner of three tournaments this season,said: I knew it was going to be a really difficult match and he hit some incredible shots today.
In other results,Moin Malak had a fairly easy outing and won his tie against Tushar Gerg 5 and 4. It was a bit of a sluggish display from the number one seed but he won three holes on the trot to bring the match to an end on the 14th hole. The number one player on the Order of Merit list also moved to the second round as he beat local player Rajesh Halder.
K Prabhagaran from Sri Lanka,winner of the All-India in 2007,put on a splendid display and won his match rather comfortably as he beat L Selvadurai 8 and 7. His counterpart Mithun Perera also enjoyed an easy outing as he won his match against M Sarthar 7 and 5. Mohammad Jamal Hossain Mollah from Bangladesh had to grind it out against Karanbir Choudhary but eventually won 2 and 1 after both players halved the 17th hole.
The seedings have thrown up some interesting match-ups in the second round. Moin will have to bring out his best game as he faces Abhinav Lohan in the second round. Another tie to look forward to would be the one between Mohammad Jamal Hossain Mollah and Sanjeev Mehra.