New Delhi: The final of the SRF All India Professional Golf Matchplay Championship 2011 will witness two Delhi Golf Club (DGC) professionals, Ashok Kumar and Manav Jaini, slug it out for the title at their home course on Saturday.
In the semifinals today, Kumar defeated another DGC professional Chiragh Kumar 3 & 2 while Jaini beat Sri Lankan Mithun Perera on the 20th hole (second playoff hole).
Top seed Kumar had a few hiccups in the early stages of his encounter against fifth seed Chiragh as the latter went two ahead with wins on the fourth and fifth holes. Ashok, however, came roaring back by bagging the eighth, 10th, 11th, 12th and 14th holes to go three up.
Kumar, the 2007 & 2009 SRF All India Matchplay champion, dominated the back nine with a chip-in for birdie on the 10th, a couple of long birdie putts on the 11th and 12th and an eagle on the 14th. Kumar finally sealed it when the two players halved the 16th after making bogeys.
Sixth seed Jaini survived a scare from 55th seed Perera in the second semifinal of the day. After Perera pocketed the first hole, Jaini took the next four to build a healthy lead.
The seventh went Perera`s way but Jaini birdied the eighth and made eagle on the 10th to go four ahead.
The momentum swung in Perera`s favour after he rallied with wins on the 13th, 15th and 16th. The 17th hole was halved and Perera managed to take the match to a playoff after he won the 18th with a birdie to make it all square.
The two players birdied the 19th hole but the 27-year-old Jaini finally wrapped it up on the 20th hole by converting a 15 feet birdie putt even as Perera missed a birdie from 17
About the final Jaini said, "I`ll play without any inhibitions in the final against Ashok, as I know, being the underdog, I have nothing to lose."
The final between Ashok Kumar and Manav Jaini will be decided over 36 holes.