India’s S. Chikkarangappa finished tied-second, alongside France’s Matthieu Pavon, at the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open on Sunday — perhaps the most noteworthy result of his professional career.
Chikkarangappa carded 67 on the final day to finish on an aggregate score of 18-under-270. This was his best result at the European Tour event, earning him EUR 110,000 and 222 points. America’s Kurt Kityama won the tourney, carding 68 on the final day to end with a tally of 20-under-268. Despite having two bogeys, Kityama had a double birdie on the fourth hole and four more single birdies to earn EUR 158,000.
“It’s been the most important week of my career — a tied-second finish in an European PGA tour event. I also got my Asian Tour card. I couldn’t have asked for more,” Chikkarangappa told PTI .
Starting the day at 13-under, Chikkarangappa had birdies on third and seventh holes. He escaped a bogey on the eighth hole where his first shot fell on the bunker. However, his putting was excellent on the day as it was evident on the back nine where he had birdies on 13th and more importantly on the 16th and 17th holes.
Dealing with pressure
On the final hole, which was a par 5, he nearly got it wrong before getting a par. “I have been through pressure situations since I turned [professional] and I have my own mechanism to deal with it,” Chikkarangappa said. “There is a particular breathing pattern that I follow on the course during certain situations that helps me absorb the pressure. It was no different today,” he added.
The 222 ranking points will give him a chance to compete in bigger and better tournaments. “I have two more weeks left this year with Indonesia and New Delhi where I would like to carry this week’s momentum. Hopefully, next year, I would compete at bigger events with better field,” he said.
‘Life has changed’
Commenting on his pursuit of golf, he said, “I could not have afforded a sport like golf without support but some of it you know with time gets exaggerated. I am happy that I chose the correct sport instead of cricket. There are no guarantees in a team sport and I have seen youngsters not having fall-back options after not making it to the higher grades. My life has changed courtesy golf.”