Vikram Rana clinches the Tata Steel Amateur in a playoff
Ahmedabad: Vikram Rana used all his experience to emerge victorious on the first playoff hole to clinch the Tata Steel Gujarat Amateur 2014 from the clutches of Tapendra Ghai of Gurgaon, who produced the best card of the day, at the Par-72 Kalhaar Blues & Greens Golf Club here with a gross score of thirteen over par 301 for the week.
It was a youth versus experience show from the start as both reeled pars for fun on the front nine and matched each other stroke for stroke before a timely birdie on the 8th for Tapendra cut Vikram`s lead into half to one stroke from the overnight two. Vikram went out at one-under 35 while Tapendra went out one better at two-under 34.
A couple of dropped shots from Tapendra to go along with a birdie for Vikram on the 12th stretched the lead to four strokes. However, such was the determination of young Tapendra that he came right back on the very next hole with a birdie on the tricky par-4 13th where Vikram made a double bogey to cut lead down to one stroke.
A further dropped shot on his competitor from Vikram saw him and Tapendra go level after 15. Tapendra must have thought he was home and dry when he birdied the 17th to go one clear for the first time. He left his chip short on the 18th to bogey the hole where Vikram made a par from about 8 feet to take the championship into a playoff.
On the 10th tee, the first and only playoff hole needed, Vikram drove his ball into the fairway bunker from where he effortlessly hit the green. Tapender in the meantime was saved from the bunker with the help of a rake.
But from a difficult position he hit the fringe of the green from where he chipped on within 4 feet. Under pressure to make the putt, he missed the four footer for par whereas Vikram two putted for his par and with it the Tata Steel Gujarat Amateur 2014 title.
Last year`s runner up Manu Gandas was placed second two strokes behind at 15-over-par 303 followed by Udayan Mane and Syed Saqib Ahmed to complete the top 5.