Chikka prevails in play-off

Overnight leader S Chikkarangappa clinched a thrilling play-off win over Shankar Das to lift the Surya Nepal Masters trophy here on Saturday.

Four youngsters -- Abhinav Lohan, Chikkarangappa, Abhijit Singh Chadha and Shankar -- jostled for the title with each one of them leading at different stages in the final round. In the end, Shankar emerged the club house leader at 15-under after carding 68.

Chikkarangappa, who at one stage slipped two strokes behind the leader, made two birdies in the last three holes to card 72 and get into a play-off with Shankar after both ended with a similar total of 15-under 273.

Chikkarangappa beat the Kolkatan on the second extra hole at the Gokarna Forest Resort here.

A little earlier, local hero Shivaram Shrestha raised the hopes of defending the title when he was two shots off the leader with two holes to go after having fired five birdies and an eagle against two bogeys.

However, despite firing the day’s best score of five-under 67, the Nepal No 1 had to settle for the tied fifth position along with opening day leader Angad Cheema with both of them finishing at 13-under 275.

Shamim Khan, who led at the end of 36-holes, finished seventh at 11-under 277 while Feroz Ali Mollah was eighth at 10-under 278.

Bikas Bogati, a trainee at the Surya Nepal NGA Youth Coaching Programme, won the amateur title with a tally of 11-over 299.

“It’s been a fabulous week. My good scores in the second and third rounds set up the win. I made some crucial putts today and didn’t let pressure get the better of me. I recovered well during regulation play despite finding the water on the seventh and hitting it out of bounds on the 14th,” said Chikkarangappa, who pocketed Rs 4,84,950.”

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