Chikka among 4 Indians to make Asian Tour cards

Chikka among 4 Indians to make Asian Tour cards

Four Indians, led by S Chikkrangappa, earned their Asian Tour cards while Swede Daniel Chopra topped the Asian Tour Qualifying School Final Stage presented by Sports Authority of Thailand today.

While Chikka (68), the leader after the second round was tied fourth at nine-under 276, former winner on Asian Tour, Himmat Rai (72) and young Angad Cheema (72) qualified in tied 12th place at five-under 280 each.

The fourth Indian to make the grade was another young talent, Abhijit Chadha (71) at one-under 284 in tied 37th place.

Amardip Malik (67) at two-over 287 missed out in 62nd place as did Khalin Joshi (74) at four-over 289 in tied 77th place and former Hero Indian Open winner, C Muniyappa faltered in the final round with a 76 to end at five-over 290 in tied 84th place.

Chopra, a two-time winner on PGA Tour and a former winner on Asian Tour carded a final round of three-under 68 and finished at 15-under 270 to top the Qualifying School.

Chopra, who played most of his golf in the formative years in India, outclassed the field by signing for a three-under-par 68 to win by four shots on 15-under-par 270  total at the Springfield Royal Golf Club.

Finland's Kalle Samooja, a former member of the Asian Tour, returned with the day's lowest round of 65 to take second place while Thailand’s Phiphatphong Naewsuk settled one shot back in third on 275 at the Qualifying School.

Himmat Rai also returned to the Tour by finishing 12th, while Angad Cheema and Abhijit Chadha made the card for the first time by finishing inside top-40 and ties.

Chopra, who fired six birdies against three bogeys, shrugged off the final round pressure and credited his experience for a remarkable performance this week.

Chikka made up for the disappointment of missing out on his Tour card by one shot last year by putting up a remarkable display in what was only his second attempt at the Qualifying School.

"This means a lot to me. I really worked hard for this. It took me a year to come back again and finally get my Tour card. It has a tough week.

Missing out last year was really emotional for me but it has made me a stronger person. My attitude in my game got better and I am really happy I made it," said the 21-year-old Indian.

All Qualifying School entrants will be eligible to compete on the burgeoning ADT, which was inaugurated in 2010 as a gateway to the premier Asian Tour.

With the Olympic Games looming in 2016 where golf will be reintroduced as a medal sport, players in the region could earn their spots in Rio de Janeiro by earning Official World Golf Ranking points through the Asian Tour and ADT.

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