Karandeep beats Zubin; Sri Lanka's Sisira shines

Karandeep beats Zubin; Sri Lanka's Sisira shines

Currently No 3 on the IGU’s Junior boys’ Order of Merit, Karandeep Kochhar of Chandigarh defeated his city-mate Zubin Nijawahan 4&2 on the first day of matchplay segment of the 115th All-India Amateur Golf Championship here on Thursday.

Both Kochhar, age 16 and Zubin, 23, kept on challenging each other untill Kochhar hit a birdie on 12th and went 3-up at the Classic Golf Resort.

Kochhar then kept the momentum to claim a memorable triumph after firing a birdie on 16th hole.

Kochhar, winner of the two-day strokeplay event preceeding the matchplay championship, said: “Both of us struggled initially but my hitting really saved the day for me and I won my first match play competition. The turning point came on the 13th when Zubin three-putted and I missed the chip putt. In my mind the game was almost over. I am excited to play against Shiv Naren Srinivasan tomorrow and hope to get into the quarterfinals after beating him.”

Another highlight of the day was Sri Lankan Sisira Kumara, seeded 31, who upset Delhi’s Arjun Prasad 1-up. Arjun was the runner-up of strokeplay championship.

Meanwhile, Aman Raj edged past veteran Gagan Verma 1-up to set up a meeting with Ankur Chadha. Kolkata’s Viraj Madappa won the match from Harjot Singh Soni 3&2 to face Shubham Narain. Yashas Chandra defeated Parav Kalra 3&1 and will meet experienced Simarjeet Singh on Friday.

Jha on fire

Abhishek Jha of Bengaluru set the pace in round one of the 14th TATA Open as he blasted a remarkable nine-under-63 at the Golmuri Golf Course in Jamshedpur on Thursday.  Jha’s opening round effort placed him one shot ahead of Delhi’s Honey Baisoya at th Rs. 75 lakh event.

Jha, precariously placed at 62nd in the Order of Merit, made an ideal start at the penultimate event of the 2015 PGTI season, with nine birdies against a lone bogey. Jha thus set himself up to make it into the top-60 of the money list which is the cut-off to earn exemption for the 2016 PGTI season.

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