Chikka meets Pritam Haridas in All India Amateur golf final

Last Updated: Feb 05, 2011, 17:25 PM IST

Bangalore: It will be an all-Bangalorean summit clash at the 110th All India Amateur golf championships as S Chikkarangappa and Pritam Haridas entered the final of the flagship event of the Indian Golf Union.

Chikka, the defending champion who turns 18 in September, rallied from 2-down after the 10th to ensure the trophy stayed in India, as he beat the last foreign challenger N Thangaraja of Sri Lanka 1-up on the 18th.

If Chikka wins tomorrow, he would become the first junior to win back-to-back All India Amateur titles. He had won the All India junior amateur in December last, but at the Eagleton.

Pritam Haridas, 20, who took the lead for the first time in the semifinal only on the seventh, ended the match against regular playing partner Udayan Mane on the 16th winning 3 and 2.

The Chikka-Pritam clash is expected to get a lot of local attention as they are both trained by two of the best known coaches here. Chikka is coached by Vijay Divecha at Touche Golf Academy while Pritam trains with former Indian pro Rahul Ganapathy at the KGA.

"I am not getting ahead. I just want to concentrate on playing well. Today I was two-down after 10. But I stayed focused and knew if could kept the ball on the fairways and putted well I would come back. I had some fine putts towards the end, especially on 16th and 17th, both for pars. I won the 17th, halved the 18th to win," said Chikka.

Chikka began erratically, as he chipped over the green on third to go one-down, and then three-putted the fourth to lose that hole also and go two-down. He reduced the margin on eighth, but on ninth he went into water to go two-down once more.

But he rallied well on the back nine, winning 12th and 14th to make the match even. He won the 17th to go one-up and held the lead on the final hole.

Pritam three-putted the fourth to lose the hole. But with Mane double bogeying the sixth, going into the water and then overshooting the green on par-4 seventh, he was one-down.

Pritam tightened the grip on the match and never let go except on the 10th, where he three-putted to lose the hole, but still led by one.

He won the 11th with a birdie but Mane fought back with a birdie on 14th. Still one-up, Pritam won the 15th with a good birdie and then putted well for par on 16th. As Mane bogeyed the hole, the match was over.

PTI