Steady Trishul grabs pole

Local teenager cards fine three-under 69

Steady Trishul grabs pole

Local lad Trishul Chinnappa made the best use of his knowledge about the Karnataka Golf Association, grabbing the pole position in the opening round of the Tata Steel Southern India Amateur Golf Championship here on Tuesday.

Even as his club-mate and one of the favourites for the title Syed Saqib Ahmed and Order of Merit List leader Karan Taunk struggled on a rain-battered course, the 19-year-old dished out a sparkling show, carding three-under 69 for a one-shot lead.

Coimbatore’s Vashista Pawar was lying sole second while another local lad Udayan Mane too kick-started his campaign on a bright note, sharing the third spot at 71 with Nikhil S Sekhawat and Aman Raj.

However, the take-offs were not smooth for Saqib and Karan, who opened with disappointing scores of 75 and 77 respectively and need a solid second-round performance on Wednesday if they wish to bag the title.

Following heavy rains that lashed the City on Tuesday night, the course expectedly played longer and the normally slick greens too appeared a bit slower. Playing here since his childhood, Trishul found no problems whatsoever as he struck the ball well and putted confidently on the greens too.

He made a rollicking start, covering the front nine in four-under following four birdies and a bogey. He picked up his first shot of the day on the opening hole itself with a 12-foot putt and then missed an eagle on the par-5 fifth when his chip shot just rolled past the cup. He then sunk the birdie from given before committing a double bogey on the seventh.

He made up for that blemish with birdies on the eighth and ninth holes and just when it appeared the teenager would kick a few gears up on the inward journey, birdies deserted him. Although he struck equally well, he couldn’t nail a birdie, parring the nine holes to take the sole lead.

“I’m really delighted with the start,” said Trishul. “It would’ve been better if I had birdies on the back nine but such things happen. I just hope to better my performance tomorrow.”

Leading scores (after 18 holes): 69: Trishul Chinnappa; 70: Vashista Pawar; 71: Udayan Mane, Nikhil S Sekhawat, Aman Raj; 72: Ainesh Ahluwalia, Arjun Singh, Vikram Rana, Advait Luthra, Samarth Dwivedi, Ankur Chadha; 73: Hemndra Chaudhary, Piyush Sangwan, Pukhraj Singh Gill.

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