Jamshedpur: Viraj Khanna scripted a brilliant comeback victory to capture the Jamshedpur Juniors Cup an event on the Tata Steel IGU East Zone Junior Tour that concluded at the Par-71 Golmuri Golf Club here on Thursday. Viraj who began the day, three shots behind overnight leader Imitiaz Ali, fired a birdie on the finishing hole to tie with Imitiaz and then went on to win on the second play-off hole to grab his second title of the season. The tie-break was necessitated after both the players ended up with a two-round total of 23-over 165 in the top category (Cat A & B).
Udayajit Bhalotia finished third while Zahed Khan was fourth. Yashvardhan Sarda and Parwez Khan were tied for the fifth spot while Vishesh Khanna ended up seventh. Bibek Sardar captured the crown in Category C with a total of 161 while Manish Rajak finished runner-up. Hashan Rahman finished third while Raghav Kharb and Arshad Ali ended up fourth and fifth respectively.
The Category D honours was captured by Sandeep Yadav with Rajib Ali ending up as the runner-up. Abhikanks Basu was third. Mohammed Rayyan Habib won in Category E while Rakshik Basu was second.
Kolkata lad Viraj played some brilliant golf making two birdies in all and supplemented with eight pars. He could have won easily at the end of regulation play but for the quadruple bogey on the par-5 11th. Trailing by a shot on the 36th and final hole, Viraj made a birdie to take Imitiaz into a play-off. The local lad meanwhile could manage only eight pars and showed a lack of experience.
The competition grew intense after both the players ended with pars on the par-5 18th, the first play-off hole. With the hole being repeated until a result was achieved, Viraj held on to make a par while Imitiaz made a bogey to lose on the 38th hole.
“I am thrilled to win my second title,” said Viraj. “My aim was to play steady for the first nine and then go all out in the back nine, if ever I had a chance of winning. I paid a penalty for aggressive play when I lost four shots on the 11th. However, I recovered and took one more chance on the 18th, this time it paid off,” said the champion. “My aim is to finish on top of the Order of Merit and play on the National amateur circuit,” he added.
The Tour shifts back to Kolkata for the next two legs before the final leg in Jamshedpur.
Top Scores (after 18 holes)
Category A & B
165 Viraj Khanna (Cat A) (84, 81); 165 Md Imitiaz (Cat A) (81, 84); 171 Udayjit Bhalotia (Cat B) (90,81); 172 Zahed Khan (Cat B) (87, 85); 175 Yashvardhan Sarda (Cat B) 93, 82); 175 Parwez Khan (Cat A) (94, 81); 177 Vishesh Khanna (Cat A) (90, 87); 178 Sharif Khan (Cat B) (91, 87); 185 Akritdeep Sachdeva (Cat B) (89, 96); 192 Bishwam Ghosh (Cat B) (105, 87); 193 Kunal Naidu (Cat B) (92, 101); 201 Tanishq Julka (Cat B) (102, 99)
161 Bibek Sardar (77, 84); 164 Manish Rajak (82, 82); 170 Hashan Rahman (84, 86); 194 Raghav Kharb (94, 100); 223 Arshad Ali (97, 126)
165 Sandeep Yadav (84, 81); 178 Rajib Ali (85, 93); 195 Abhikanks Basu (99, 96); 214 Pratham Choudhary (108, 106); 225 Gagandeep Singh Dhaliwal (114, 111)
Category E (36 holes)
126 Md Rayyan Habib (63, 63); 132 Rakshik Basu (58, 74)
By Indian Sports News Network