Chikkarangappa steers TAKE Chennai to Louis Phillipe title

S. Chikkarangappa, who shot a five-under 67, and S. S. P. Chawrasia helped TAKE Chennai clinch the Louis Phillipe Cup after a dramatic final round in Bengaluru.

(From left) Chikkarangappa, S. S. P. Chawrasia and Khalin Joshi celebrate after winning the Louis Phillipe Cup.   -  Sampath Kumar G. P.

Fine performances from S. Chikkarangappa (five-under 67) and S. S. P. Chowrasia (four-under 68) helped TAKE Chennai emerge as the Louis Philippe Cup champion, on a dramatic final round at the KGA here on Saturday.

Trailing overnight leader Dev Chandigarh by five strokes at the start of the day, local lad Chikkarangappa and Hero Indian Open champion Chowrasia came out all guns blazing. Chandigarh's two best performers - Himmat Rai (two-under 70) and Sujjan Singh (one-over 73) - could not do enough to prevent their team from falling short by three strokes.

This title win was especially sweet, as TAKE Chennai had fallen short to Navratna Ahmedabad last year despite staying on top of the leaderboard for the first three days.

'Monkey off my back'

This time around, Chikkarangappa set the ball rolling with a stunning 30-foot putt on the 16th hole, which fetched him a birdie. He went on to make par on the next hole, before recording another birdie on the 18th hole to finish on a high. "After the disappointment of last year, I felt like I got the monkey off my back," a visibly relieved Chikkarangappa said.

Chowrasia made his intentions clear by carding an eagle on the 14th hole. The Kolkata professional aced a 140-yard drive with a pitching wedge, sending the ball into the hole. He followed up with two birdies to put TAKE Chennai in a commanding position. "I kept track of Chandigarh's scores, and I knew that we were slowly cutting into their lead. Once I got the eagle on the 14th, I knew that we could win," Chowrasia said.

On the individual list, it was Chikkarangappa (10-under 278 overall) who finished on top. Chirag Kumar (Laqshya Mumbai) shot the same score, but Chikkarangappa was adjudged the winner due to his better third round score (both golfers finished on the same final round score).

The scores (after 72 holes):

Team:

TAKE Chennai (-21); Dev Chandigarh (-18); Nsports Hyderabad (-17); Laqshya Mumbai (-16); Zion Hills Bengaluru (-11); Navratna Hyderabad (-10); Jaypee Greens Greater Noida (-5) and DLF Gurgaon (-5).

Individual (top-eight): 278: Chirag Kumar (71, 69, 71, 67), Chikkarangappa (71, 70, 70, 67); 280: Mithun Perera (69, 70, 71, 70), Himmat Rai (65, 75, 70, 70); 281: Abhijit Chadha (71, 67, 71, 72), Gaganjeet Bhullar (74, 71, 66, 70); 282: Khalin Joshi (71, 72, 69, 70); 284: Sujjan Singh (71, 67, 73, 73), Shamim Khan (70, 70, 71, 73); S.S.P. Chowrasia (70, 70, 76, 68); Ajeetesh Sandhu (73, 71, 67, 73).