Trishul remains in lead

Trishul remains in lead

Golf Southern India Amateur: Impressive Mane gives close fight to table topper

Trishul remains in lead

Pace-setter Trishul Chinnappa maintained his cool despite going through a turbulent ride to stay just ahead of the chasing pack at the midway stage of the Tata Steel Southern India Amateur Golf Championship here on Wednesday.

Trishul, who struggled to match the consistency of the opening round, held his nerve amidst some erratic driving and sloppy putting to card a decent level-par 72 for a two-round total of 141 at his home Karnataka Golf Association.

Lurking just a shot behind is his club-mate and friend Udayan Mane who shot a second successive 71 while Patna’s Aman Raj was in third place a further stroke behind after carding 72. In-form Syed Saqid Ahmed, who opened his account with a disappointing 75, bounced back with a fine 72 to raise hopes of a local winner.

The conditions on the day were very similar to Tuesday’s. Following the heavy downpour previous night, the KGA played a trifle longer and the greens a tad slower, laying strong emphasis on accurate iron play and short game.

Trishul, however, struggled with his driving for the better part of the day, finding the woods on three occasions. He, however, hauled himself out of trouble with decent approach play but poor putting let him down. If not for a few missed chances, the 19-year-old could have held a bigger lead which is very crucial at the testing KGA.

A 10th tee starter, Trishul started with a bogey on the 11th but quickly made amends with birdies on the 12th, 13th and 15th holes. He dropped a shot on the 17th to take the turn at one-under for the day before enduring a bumpy ride on the back nine.

He found birdies on the fourth and eighth holes but bogeys on the second, sixth and seventh holes pinned him at three-under overall, finding just enough breathing space ahead of Udayan.

The 22-year-old Udayan, who hails from KGA but trains under Vijay Diwecha, stroked the ball brilliantly, finding 16 regulations. However, his game around the greens was found wanting, three-putting thrice that cost him three shots. A 10th tee starter like Trishul, Mane fired four birdies but three bogeys ruined his card.

Leading scores (after 36 holes): 141: Trishul Chinnappa (69, 72); 142: Udayan Mane (71, 71); 143: Aman Raj (71, 72); 146: Pratap Atwal (75, 71), Manu Gandas (74, 72); 147: Syed Saqib Ahmed (75, 72), Vikram Rana (72, 75), Ainesh Ahluwalia (72, 75); 148: Lokesh Lakshman (74, 74), Hemendra Chaudhary (73, 75), Ankur Chadha (72, 76); 149: Yashas Chandra (77, 72), Pukhraj Singh Gill (73, 76); Nikhil S Sekhawat (71, 78).