Chikka’s brilliant win at RCGC earned him his highest ever pay cheque of Rs. 22,50,000 which took his season’s earnings to an outstanding Rs. 48,87,440. He thus climbed from second place to first position in the money list to take home the Rolex Player of the Year title.
At 22 years and three months of age, Chikka became the youngest winner of the Rolex Ranking title. In his seven starts in the season he posted three wins, a runner-up and three other top-10s. The seasoned Mukesh Kumar of Mhow, who finished tied sixth at five-under-283 this week, claimed second place on the 2015 PGTI merit list with earnings of Rs. 39,41,710.
Chikkarangappa (68-69-70-69), who was overnight third, three off the lead, had a steady start to the day with pars on the first three holes. He started making inroads with birdies on the fourth and sixth, having converted a 15-footer on the latter. The pro from the Eagleton Golf Resort, made the turn at one-under after dropping a shot on the eighth where his ball was plugged in the bunker.
Chikka said, “It’s amazing to win the biggest tournament on the PGTI and also the Rolex Ranking title on the same day. Emerging Order of Merit champion is special for me because I’ve been finishing second on the merit list for the last two years. I’m also delighted to have won here at RCGC since I missed cuts for three weeks running on the Asian Tour before this event.
“It was a tough fight today as I knew Jyoti and Khalin will not give up till the end. I think the turning point for me was the 12-feet birdie conversion on the 17th. That’s when I thought, I can take this, since I was one ahead with one hole to play. I didn’t strike it well through the week but my short-game was very sharp. I made very few birdies at this event as compared to my other successful weeks.
“The change of caddie this week also helped my cause. I had Anirban Lahiri’s previous caddie Narasimha on the bag this week. His inputs were quite useful. The focus will now be on making it back on the Asian Tour through the Qualifying School and thereafter doing well on the tour,” added an elated Chikka.