Kolkata: India ‘B’ represented by veteran Gagan Verma and the young Udayan Mane topped the leader board in the International team event of the 112thTata Steel Amateur Golf Championship of India that got underway at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club here on Tuesday. With a combined score of 151, the duo were five shots ahead of India ‘C’ comprising of Samarth Dwivedi and Syed Saquib Ahmed. India ‘A’ lead by Simarjeet Singh and Karan Taunk were lying third with a total of 161.
The Sri Lankan pair of Vijitha Bandara and Sisira Kumar were fourth at 166 while the team from Bhutan comprising of Tshendra Dorji and Dechen Ugyen were fifth at 167. Bangladesh were lying last with the Malaysian team being disqualified for submitting a wrong score.
Meanwhile unheralded players outshone the favourites in the individual category on a day when the course played a tough nut to crack. Braving the situation Hemendra Choudhary grabbed a five four shot lead after shooting a 1-under par 71, the lone under-par score of the day. Amit Kumar, Abel Tam (Malaysia), Arjun Singh, Udayan Mane, Ankur Chadha, Jasjeet Singh and Shubhankar Sharma – all shot an identical 75 to share the second spot. Gagan Verma, Trishul Chinnappa and Shakti Singh were tied for the ninth place at 76.
On a day when the experienced players struggled to save pars, little known Hemendra Choudhary from Jaipur showed what determination is all about. Hemendra, who was the last to tee off from the first tee, began in the right earnest opening with pars on the first two holes before losing a shot on the par-4 third. The Jaipur lad quickly made amends shooting an eagle on the par-5 fourth and saving a stroke each on the sixth and ninth to take the turn at 2-under. On the back nine, after opening with a bogey, Hemendra lost one more shot on the 14th while nullifying the effect on the very next hole with a birdie. The leader then parred the rest of the holes to find himself in the driver’s seat.
“The course was playing tough but I was determined to keep the ball in play,” said Hemendra after the round. “The greens were pretty fast and I was lucky to drown a couple of long putts,” added the leader.
Top scores (after 18 holes)
151 India ‘B’ (Udayan Mane 75, Gagan Verma 76); 156 India ‘C’ (Samarth Dwivedi 79, Syed Saquib Ahmed 77); 161 India ‘A’ (Simarjeet Singh 82, Karan Taunk 79); 166Sri Lanka (Vijitha Bandara 80, Sisira Kumar 86)
71 Hemendra Chaudhary; 75 Amit Kumar, Abel Tam (Malaysia), Arjun Singh Udayan Mane (India - B), Ankur Chadha, Jasjeet Singh, Shubhankar Sharma; 76 Gagan Verma (India - B), Trishul Chinnappa, Shakti Singh; 77 Syed Saqib Ahmed (India - C), Tshendra Dorji (Bhutan); 78 Manpreet Mann, Viraj Madappa, Feroz Singh Garewal, Raghubir Chaudhary, Ainesh Ahluwalia, Arshad Ali, Arjun Sharma
By Indian Sports News Network