Golfer Chikka retains India Masters title

Bengaluru, Oct 31 (IANS) Indian golfer S. Chikka successfully defended his title after defeating compatriot Shubhankar Sharma on the first extra hole at the $120,000 TAKE Solutions India Masters at the Eagle-The Golf Village here on Saturday.

Chikka and Shubhankar, who shared the overnight three-shot lead, ended regulation play tied on 25-under 263 total after posting identical final rounds of six-under 66s.

The duo returned to the par-four 18th hole for the play-off battle where Chikka outplayed 19-year-old Shubhankar with a birdie against a par to claim his second Asian Development Tour (ADT) title at the event.

Abhijit Chadha, also of India, returned with a stunning 62 to take third place on 269 while countryman Rashid Khan and American Greg Moss settled one shot back in the fourth place following matching rounds of 67s.

Chikka, who fired seven birdies against a lone bogey, played consistently to stay in control for most of the round and kept his cool even when Sharma surmounted a late charge to force a play-off.

“I haven’t really performed well this season. This win came at the right time and I am confident this will be a sign of better things to come. There were a lot of expectations from me this week, especially from family and friends. I’m glad I didn’t disappoint them,” said the 22-year-old Chikka in a release.

“I wasn’t really nervous out there. I just played my own game. I have been in this kind of situation before so I knew how to handle it. I guess my past experience helped. This win definitely boost my confidence and I’m looking forward to better results at the Panasonic Open India on the Asian Tour next week,” added Chikka.

Chikka will take home a winner’s prize cheque of $21,000 and receive six world ranking points courtesy his win.

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