What an incredible journey for the 25-year-old Senappa Chikkarangappa S (70-66-68-72) won his 11th title on the PGTI circuit after winning the play-off against Chandigarh golfer Karandeep Kochhar in the Jeev Milkha Singh Invitational presented by Take Solutions, in Chandigarh
It was a fitting finale as both the players put up a strong performance and recorded a win at the play-off against Kochhar.
Chikka, who began the day with two birdie shots, extended his lead to four shots, thus emerging as a winner of the game. By taking away this final, Chikka ended his two-year-long hault.
The game turned into the favour of Chikka when Kochhar bogeyed the 12th, 13th and 15th after making two three-putts on the stretch. He took the match into the playoff before both the players birdied the 17th and Karandeep getting back into the game with a fantastic birdie conversion on the 18th.
While Karandeep missed par from 2ft, Chikka kept making par with the regulation two-putt on the playoff hole. And thus, victory came for golfer Chikka, the man who won his fourth playoff on the PGTI. Chikka thus kept his enviable playoff record intact by winning his fourth playoff on the PGTI. He is so far undefeated in playoffs. Chikka not only took away a whopping cheque but also climbed from 26th to 3rd position on the PGTI Order of Merit.
After winning the title, Chikka shared, “I’ve been through a rough patch over the last two years as I was winning regularly before that. Things just didn’t go right since 2017 as the changes that I made in my game didn’t seem to click. But I feel my swing is back now and so is my form.”
“I started really well today and then I lost my way with a few poor shots from the fifth to the seventh. Karandeep was playing really well at that stage. Thereafter, I tried to find my way back by trying for regulations on all holes. That’s when Karandeep dropped shots thanks to a couple of three-putts that cost him dearly.”
“I made an exceptional par on the 16th and followed that up with a brilliant tap-in birdie on the 17th that kept me in the contest. Once we were in the playoff, I just knew that I had the advantage as my playoff record has been fantastic over the years. My confidence was quite high going into the playoff and that reflected in my shots”, said the overwhelmed Chikka.
Chikka’s journey from a ball boy to a champion
Chikka, in his early days, used to work as a ball boy at the Eagleton Golf Club in Bengaluru. Chikka’s, whose father used to work as a mason, was super happy to win the tournament being named after India’s most successful golfer Jeev Milkha Singh.
Chikka won the last title in Take Open in Bengaluru in 2016 and was on a title-drought since then.
“I started playing the game while working as a ball boy at the Eagleton Golf Club. My father Seenappa used to work as a mason at our village and I saw some golfers hitting balls at the club. The only way I could play was the opportunity to work as a ball boy at the club and that’s where the journey started for me under coach Vijay Divecha sir and with seven-time Asian Tour winner Anirban Lahiri. Initially, my mother Revamma would tell me to concentrate hard on my studies but as I won, they understood the importance of the game. Today to win a tournament being named after Jeev sir is a special feeling for me. As India’s most successful golfer, he is the one who made youngsters like me from villages to play golf and aspires to win. My last win came 745 days ago but Jeev sir has been playing on the tour for such a long time that we all want to have a career like him,” said Chikkarangappa.
Appreciation from the Legend
Congratulations @chikkarangappa on winning the #JeevMilkhaSinghInvitational. Clutch performance just when you needed it. Hope this is the start of a sustained winning run for you. @PGTITOUR @TAKEgolfing @TAKESolutions
— Jeev Milkha Singh (@JeevMilkhaSingh) November 4, 2018
13-time International champion Jeev Milka Singh, who was also present there to witness the match, presented the prize to the winner Chikka. Lauding Chikka’s playing techniques, the legend said, “ The way Chikkarangappa played and conducted himself on the course and off the course speaks volumes about his talent and the desire to excel. It’s good to see such youngsters winning repeatedly and even though he started as a ball boy, he has always banked upon his talent. His knowledge of the sport is tremendous and he has the aspiration to play in PGA Tour, European Tour. Last year, Shubhankar won on European Tour after winning here and I hope Chikkarangappa can achieve the same.”
Asian Tour winner Jyoti Randhawa came up to third place at 10-under-278. Shiv Kapur came in tied 11th at four-under-284. Khalin Joshin secured the 18th place at the competition. Khalin