Golfer Chikka falters, finishes third at Charming Yeangder

Miaoli (Chinese Taipei), April 3 (IANS) India’s rising golfer S. Chikka scored two-under 70 as he settled for the third place after suffering a late meltdown in the fourth and final round of the $150,000 Charming Yeangder ADT here on Sunday.

Chikka, who was overnight tied first with Lin Wen-tang, held a five-shot lead at one point after a strong start with four consecutive birdies. Then he hit a birdie on the seventh hole, after which he made his first drop-shot of the week with a double-bogey on the 12th.

He picked up two birdies right away but another double-bogey on the 15th and a bogey on the 16th saw victory slip away from his grasp as he signed for a 70 to finish one-shot back of Lin and Pavit at the National Golf and Country Club.

He totalled 19-under 269, while Lin (69) and Pavit (67) tied at 268.

“I played well, especially at the start. I think I was just unlucky on the back. I hit a bad drive and a bad second shot to make a double-bogey on 12. I managed to recover from that but my ball caught a flyer on the 15 and I made another double there. I played some amazing golf today but I think luck was just not on my side,” said the 22-year-old Indian, a two-time winner on the ADT.

“I guess these things do happen. I was really happy with how I have been playing, especially staying bogey-free for most of the week. It’s still a learning experience for me. I played so good and it was three bad shots that costed me my win. It’s all part of the game,” added Chikka.

Lin and Pavit returned to the par-four 18the for the play-off battle where both of them birdied the first two play-off holes and shot matching pars on the third before Pavit outplayed Lin with a birdie against a par on the fourth and final hole.

Pavit’s victory at the Charming Yeangder ADT saw him match local talent Chan Shih-chang’s record of holding the most number of victories on the region’s premier Tour. He also took over the driver’s seat on the current Order of Merit with a season’s haul of $31,334.

American Johannes Veerman and young Thai Phachara Khongwatmai shared fourth on 272 following identical rounds of 69 while last year’s champion Hsieh Chi-hsien of Chinese Taipei also carded a 69 to take eighth place on his own on 276.

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