Baisoya's honey-sweet display

The triumphant Honey Baisoya.-

It was indeed a dream come true for the 15-year-old Delhi lad, Honey Baisoya, who won one of the country's premier amateur golf championships, the Goodricke East India, from India's No. 1, S. Chikkarangappa, on Christmas Day at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club. S. Sabanayakan reports.

It was indeed a dream come true for the 15-year-old Delhi lad, Honey Baisoya, who won one of the country's premier amateur golf championships, the Goodricke East India, from India's No. 1, S. Chikkarangappa, on Christmas Day at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club.

The venue, one of the oldest in the world, was an apt place to crown one of India's best talents to emerge in recent times. Baisoya also became the youngest winner of the championship, now 22nd editions old. In a 72-hole final, played in two rounds of 36 holes, Baisoya triumphed 3 and 2.

A delighted Baisoya said: “I was very nervous throughout the round, but now I feel like I am on cloud nine. I can't show much excitement as my dad and I wanted to be at least 10-up in the first round, but could only settle for a final score of 3 and 2. I just can't express my feelings of winning my first amateur title beating the No. 1 amateur of the country.”

If it was undiluted delight for the young lad, Chikka was indeed disappointed, but not in despair. “I struggled with my putting owing to pain in my left foot but I played my game. I am also happy for young Baisoya who played a quality of golf not really expected from players of his age.”

The tournament, coming close on the heels of the RCGC Cup, was played in a wonderful ambience. The course was at its best, thanks to the RCGC staff who did a marvellous job to keep it in great shape.

The two-time winner of the all-India amateur event, Chikka, ousted Chandigarh's Angad Cheema, the winner of the RCGC Cup and the SAARC championship, in the match play semi-finals at 3 and 1. Baisoya eliminated Bangalore's Khalin Joshi 2 and 1.

Throughout the tournament, the ball rolled in favour of Baisoya who accounted for Ambala's Manav Das by 5 and 3 in the quarter-finals. The Bangalore duo of S. Chikkarangappa and Khalin Joshi along with Chandigarh's Angad Cheema also got through this round. Chikka bettered Gagan Verma 2 and 1 and Joshi scotched the hopes of the local boy S. K. Pappu (Sr). In an all-Chandigarh quarter-finals, Cheema won a neck-and-neck match against Simarjeet Singh.

Ashbeer Singh Saini of Kapurthala led a group of top golfers into match play on the second day. The stroke play determined who would qualify. When the cut was applied the first 32 went through and the rest packed their bags.

In stroke play, Baisoya was joint first with Saini, both carding a two-day total of one under 143. To determine the seeding the two went into a play-off where Saini came out the best. Perhaps this minor aberration made the eventual champion more determined.

And Baisoya is the boy to watch in the New Year.