Chikka eyes number 1 rank, targets Asian tour card
New Delhi: India`s new golfing sensation S Chikkarangappa, who has been in sizzling form in his rookie season, is eyeing a year-end number one rank on the PGTI tour apart from earning an Asian tour card for the next season.
"At the beginning of the year, my target was a top 10 finish in the order of Merit. Having a good start, now I am looking at number 3 and also eyeing the Rolex ranking award also because it is just a few lakhs difference," said Chikkarangappa, who is ranked fourth in prize money list now.
"Next few events are also big events, I just have to pull two weeks and if I can do that I will be number one. That is what my target is," he said.
The 20-year-old finished inside top 10 seven times out of the 10 tournaments that he has played this year.
Chikkarangappa said his next step is to go to the Q school to get an Asian tour card.
"I have not played in the Asian tour event as a professional till now but I have played an European challenge tour event, Kensville in Gujarat. This year I will go to the Q-school. I wanted to play in PGTI, establish myself, get a good feedback and then move to the next level," he said.
"Asian tour is a different game. You have to shoot really good numbers, you have to shoot four-under everyday on an average. Even in PGTI nowadays cut is going at one-over because a lot of young guys are coming up and also looking at top 10 finish, so that they can move to the next level."
Born in a village in the suburb on the Bangalore-Mysore highway, Chikkarangappa had initially started as a ball boy and then worked as a caddie at `Eagleton Golf Resort` in Bangalore but his love for golf saw him rise above adversity and win medals.
Chikkarangappa won a bronze at Asia Pacific amateur Golf championships, clinched the All India Amateur Golf Championships in 2011 and 2012, won the Asia Pacific Junior Golf Championships in 2010-11. He was also the winner of the Indian Open Amateur Golf Championships in 2012 and Tamil Nadu Open Golf Championships.
"As an amateur I did well for the country. I played for six years and won medals and really big thanks to IGU for sending us abroad and giving us exposure and it is paying off now," he said.
"The Indian Open was the transition period for me. After that event I didn`t play any amateur tournament. I had a great experience at KGA. I was tied sixth after three days with Shiv Kapur, Jyoti and Anirban Lahiri. I decided I have to move to the next level.
"Since Anirban was there for me. He told me that you should not be thinking about the competition, you need to tell yourself that I need to get better everytime and keep playing and show your skill, focus and that is kind of inputs I got from him and my coach, Vijay Divecha."
Asked about his aspirations for the BILT Open, which started today at the Jaypee Greens golf course, Chikkarangappa said: "As an amateur I never made the cut in BILT Open. So it was in my head that when I play the event as a profession, I will get the BILT open under my belt. I kept telling myself that I have to do this," he said.