Macao, October 10: India’s rising star Chikkarangappa S. will be drawing from the fond memories of his campaign last year when he returns to the Macau Golf & Country Club for the storied Macao Open next week.
Coming off the back of two consecutive top-10 results, Chikka was determined to push for his breakthrough win at the 2016 Macao Open. The Indian opened his campaign with a two-under-par 69 and grabbed a share of the halfway lead with a 65.
He followed up with a third round 69 to hold a one-shot advantage alongside good friend Anirban Lahiri before heading into the all-important final round where he eventually signed for a 68 to finish in tied-third place, which was his best result for the season.
Despite missing out on his breakthrough win, Chikka took pride in his good showing which helped him finish in 27th place on the 2016 Order of Merit, earning his full Asian Tour card for 2017 for the first time since turning professional in 2013.
Chikka was thrilled to witness the gutsy display of golf by his playing partner Lahiri, who sensationally closed with seven successive birdies to force a play-off with eventual winner Pavit Tangkamolprasert of Thailand at the Macau Golf and Country Club.
“It was really exciting,” said Chikka. “I needed a good week to ensure I keep my Asian Tour card for this year so I was very happy with how I played last year. I enjoyed myself a lot that week. I had a lot of good memories out there playing with Anirban too.”
“We were really battling it out. I was doing fine on the front nine and he was struggling but he recovered with a superb finish where he sank seven straight birdies. That was just so rare to see. I am glad I was there to witness it. I really learnt a lot from that,” said the 24-year-old.
Chikka has endured a lacklustre first-half of the season in 2017, making only three cuts in nine starts. He regained some of his best form at the TAKE Solutions Masters in August where he finished tied-10th.
Sitting at 63rd position on the current Order of Merit, Chikka will need another good showing to break into top-60 and retain his card for 2018.
“Winning my first Asian Tour tile has been a monkey on my back so I hope I can get it off soon. Being in contention has also helped me gain a lot of experiences and I learnt a lot from that. I guess the more you struggle at the start of the career, the more it will help you.
“The first half of the season hasn’t been great but it’s slowly getting better. I lost a bit of feeling with my putter and my driver but I am working on that and slowly getting my confidence back. I am more relaxed and calm on the golf course too,” Chikka added.
Chikka will feature in the US$500,000 Asian Tour event alongside defending champion Pavit, as well as Order of Merit winners Scott Hend of Australia, American David Lipsky and Thai veteran Thaworn Wiratchant.
About Sports Bureau of Macao SAR Government
Sports Bureau of Macao SAR Government, under the capacity of the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao SAR Government, is a public organization of administration autonomy. The organization is responsible for the implementation of sport strategy and policy formulated by the Macao SAR Government. Its objective is to stimulate, encourage, and promote all kind of sports in Macao, also to create an essential condition for sport development.
For the development of competitive sports and ‘Sport for all’, Sports Bureau of Macao SAR Government organizes various high level international sport competitions as well as recreational classes and thematic ‘Sport for all’ activities each year, in an endeavor to promote the international status of Macao, reinforce communication and co-operation with other countries and cites, enhance citizens’ quality of life and arouse their interest in sport, so as to accelerate and facilitate the enhancement of the level of sport in Macao.
For more information, please visit www.sport.gov.mo
About Golf Association of Macau
Founded in 2000, the Golf Association of Macau is a non-profit organization, with the mission to promote, support and ensure the quality, traditions and development of the game of golf in Macao.
With the mission to encourage and promote golf in Macao, it provides coaching, training and selection of the Macao teams for participation in international events at all levels, and promotes and runs appropriate international and domestic golfing events in Macao, which helps to represent Macao in the golfing world and be a member of appropriate regional and world governing bodies.
About Asian Tour
As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include Rolex (Official Timekeeper), Panasonic (Official Consumer Electronics), ECCO (Official Footwear Sponsor), FENIX XCell (Official Apparel Supplier), Titleist (Official Web Partner), Bloomberg TV (Official International Media Partner), Bloomberg Businessweek Chinese (Official International Media Partner), Wall Street Journal (Official International Media Partner) and Sentosa in Singapore which is the Home of the Asian Tour which also has an office in Kuala Lumpur.
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