Ahmed holds nerve to emerge champion

Leading Trishul Chinnappa by four shots overnight that he extended to 11 after a blistering front nine, Ahmed’s form suffered a severe crisis on the inward journey before the good work of the previous rounds came to his rescue as the 16-year-old broke his title drought in style at his home Karnataka Golf Association.

Despite a performance of two parts, Ahmed managed to card a respectable level-par 72, totalling 288 in Category A. Last season’s Category A champion Chinnappa hit a 74 to finish second at 294 while Pune’s Aman Raj scored a 73 to sign off third at 300. Chandigarh Golf Course’s Feroz Singh Garewal (79) lifted the Category B crown following a total of 312.

Saqib seemed headed for an encore when fired in birdies on the first, second, sixth and seventh holes to take the turn at four-under and leave closest rival Chinnappa 11 shots behind. But just when he appeared to be heading towards an emphatic victory, Ahmed suffered a major hiccup, bogeying the 11th and double bogeying the 13th. However, he quickly regained his composure, the bogey on the 18th nothwithstanding, to seal a fine victory.

Leading scores (after 72 holes): Category A&B: 288: Syed Saqib Ahmed (74, 71, 71, 72); 294: Trishul Chinnappa (75, 76, 69, 74); 300: Aman Raj (78, 73, 76, 73); 305: Shubhankar Sharma (73, 78, 73, 81); 307: Manpreet Mann (79, 76, 77, 75), Yashas Chandra (75, 83, 72, 77); 308: Kushal Singh (76, 79, 75, 78); 310: Rohan Sharma (76, 77, 77, 80). Category B: 312: Feroz Singh Garewal (80, 78, 75, 79); 316: Viraj Madappa (78, 77, 78, 83); 317: Shiv Srinivasan (79, 80, 75, 83); 320: Tae Seung Kim (86, 80, 77, 77); 323: Arrush Ahuja (87, 78, 80, 78). Category C: 326: Kartik Sharma (87, 82, 78, 79); 329: Tanvir Kahlon (82, 81, 79, 87); 341: Karandeep Kochar (88, 86, 83, 84); 342: Arjun Puri (87, 81, 86, 88). Category D (after 54 holes): 248: Devansh Chadha (84, 86, 78); 268: Harshjeet Sethi (89, 88, 91); 271: Manav Bais (92, 87, 92). Girls: Category D (after 54 holes): 296: Tanrika Singh (99, 97, 100); 322: Tiya Chowdary (118, 105, 99); 392: Jasmine Sachdeva (128, 130, 134).
Category A, B and C winners were decided on Thursday.

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