In a keenly-contested match,16-year-old Chikkarangappa defeated Sri Lankas K Prabhagaran to set up a title clash with unheralded Bhanupratap Singh in the final of the LG All-India Amateur Championship at the par-72 Oxford Golf & Country Club here.
While Chikka beat Prabhagaran 3&1,Bhanu continued his victory march over higher-ranked players,as he upset the experienced Karan Vasudeva 2&1 to seal a spot in the final.
The first match of the day lived up to its billing as both Chikkarangappa and Prabhagaran put on an excellent display,producing quality shots in the early part of the match,a press note said.
Chikka managed to be neck-and-neck with the experienced Lankan and through the first eight holes had five birdies against his name,with most of his putts more than ten feet long finding the bottom of the cup. This allowed the Bangalore boy to go 4 up against Prabhagaran. The 29-year-old made a comeback into the match,picking up birdies of his own and after the 13th hole,the score read 1 up in favour of Chikka.
But the youngster kept his nerve and finished the match with two back-to-back birdies to win the tie.
Speaking after the match,Chikka said,He was just putting really well and made some excellent saves on the front-nine. But I was also making my putts and I had a good feeling about my game. I hope tomorrow,I will be able to find my touch on that half of the course too. Regarding his chances,he said,When I came for the tournament this week,I was determined to make it all the way to the title and now I am just one step away. Hopefully,I can go on to win tomorrow.
In the other semifinal,Bhanupratap Singh,who had already notched up his best performance on the circuit,went into this match as the underdog. But both players struggled with their game on the front-nine,with Karan making the turn with a sizable advantage by his side.
After having looked exhausted and out of it,Bhanu found inspiration and put himself back in contention. The match was back to All-square after 12 but on the par-4 13th,a mistake from Bhanu’s caddy almost cost him the match after he raked the bunker under conditions not allowed. The hole was awarded to Vasudeva who went 1 up. Despite that,Bhanu fought on and a birdie three on the 15 th followed by Vasudeva finding the hazard on the 16th put Bhanu in the drivers seat for the first time. A missed par for Vasudeva on the 17th allowed Bhanu to continue his dream run this week. One more day,and anything can happen, said an elated Bhanu after his semi-final match. He will now square up against Chikka in a marathon 36-hole final on Friday.