Monday, November 29, 1999

Fine victory for Chikkarangappa

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Bangalore, May 17 -- "I am so sorry to have kept you waiting," Chikkarangappa repeated for the umpteenth time. Coming from one who witnessed several firsts on Sunday, the humility was enamouring. Going into the final day of the 31st HP Asia Pacific Junior Golf Championship with a three-stroke lead, Chikka's grip over the title seemed secure. During the course the day, he went on to double the gap. Even then, the desire to end on a positive persisted, which meant holing a difficult putt on the 18th. The task was accomplished but even before he could exult, Chikka was cornered by non-playing captain, Rashid Khan, and soaked by a mixture of water and an aerated drink. The act meant Chikka had to do a disappearing act to be in order for the felicitation ceremony. The "celebratory note" wasn't the only novel experience. The triumph in Category A was his maiden win on the international arena and the final score of 16-under 272 signalled his crossing over to the next level. "I played my best golf this week - just three bogeys against the 16 birdies," he beamed.There was another novelty on view. Throughout the week, Chikka had stressed how he wanted his parents to see him play. Father, Seenappa, and mother, Revamma, obliged with their maiden visit to a golf course, but the gesture got the son fidgety. "I was on the 9th fairway when I spotted mother. Instantly, there was some pressure and I started to hurry things up (causing him to bogey the 10th). Thereafter, I settled down," he smiled.

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