Chandigarh: Delhi’s Gagan Verma, 41, used his enormous experience to good effect as he won the semi-final of CNEB All India Amatuer Championship against Kolkata’s S. K. Pappu at Chandigarh Golf Club, Chandigarh. Other amateur who made it to the final was local lad Angad Cheema, who beat country’s junior No.1 Saquib Ahmed to stay 1-up for the day.
Pappu who beat top 3 amateur players of three different countries on road to the semis, made a great start to the day by winning the first hole by playing a safe par but couldn’t keep up the good work and lost the 2nd. After Gagan and Pappu halved the 3rd, 4th and 5th, Pappu lost the 6th to go one-down but he then made a strong comeback winning the 7th and 8th to go 1-up. Pappu’s then ran out of luck as he again lost 9th, 10th to go one-down. It was difficult for the Kolkata lad to regain his momentum as he lost 13th, 15th and 16th after halving 11th and 12th and Gagan ended the game on 16th by 4 & 2.
A disappointed Pappu said, “It was a tough loss as I expected my good form to get better off Gagan. But it was one of those days when nothing went right. The worst thing was that on the hole no. 16 where I won my last three matches of match play, I had to pack my bag on the same hole. I am hoping to come back strongly in the next season that starts in February on the same golf course.”
It was a neck to neck victory for the winner of RCGC Cup 2011, Angad Cheema as he and Bangalorian Saquib Ahmed both halved the first five holes. Cheema hit the center fairway on 6th to go 1-up where Saquib’s ball went out of bounds. Cheema again won the 7th to go 2-up but became one-up on 8th while Saquib made a par. Both of them again halved 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th and Cheema’s ball went on the right side of fairway on 15th just behind the tree and both of them became all squared. After they halved 16th, Cheema took advantage on 17th and 18th to win the match by 2 staying 2-up.
An excited Cheema said, “I am pretty happy to get into the finals of All India as this is going to be my first All India Championship title if I win tomorrow. The best part about today’s game was that both of us played a very strong game and I took the advantage of beating him in the last two holes. I am looking forward to take the 2nd spot on IGU’s Order of merit list after winning tomorrow.”