Chikka starts firm favourite

South India Junior golf meet tees off at the KGA from today

Having warmed up nicely with 1-2 finish respectively in the Karnataka Junior golf championship last week at the very same course, both Ahmed and Chinnappa know things won’t be that easy this week with the return of teenage talent S Chikkarangappa.

The 17-year-old, who will be using this event as warm-up to two amateur events next month, generated quite a buzz last week itself with his entry in this event and it only grew louder on the eve of the meet at the par-72 course.

The Eagleton Golf Resort lad created a sort of history in early 2010 by becoming the youngest ever to win the All-Indian amateur championship. He enhanced his reputation further again last December after becoming the first person to have won both the Senior and junior crowns when he clinched the All-India Junior Championship.

The Bangalorean underlined his status as one of the future talents, ending a season of ups and downs by successfully retaining the amateur crown this February at the KGA.

“It feels really nice to be returning to KGA,” said Chikkarangappa after a practice round with Chinnappa. “It’s almost like my second home course and it’s quite a challenge to play here. As usual, the greens are one of the toughest to contend with and emphasis will be on accuracy.”

While Chikkarangappa holds the edge in terms of experience, exposure and talent, the lack of competitive action for nearly three months could hamper his progress -- precisely which Ahmed and Chinnappa will be looking to exploit.

Although Ahmed won handsomely last week by six shots, his game fluctuated from the brilliant to the ordinary. Chinnappa looked good in parts and if he can add some consistency to his game, the tournament could see an exciting fare.

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