Sunday, 25 April 2010 10:14
After a four-hour roller-coaster round that saw the lead change hands, 16-year-old Ashbeer Saini made a late charge to forge ahead one last time and win the Surya epal Masters which was played at the par-72 okarna Forest Golf Resort.
The Indian amateur made two late birdies to secure the itle by two shots over Rupak Acharya. Ashbeer shot a round of one-under 71, which took his tournament total to 11-under 277.
Rupak made a bold charge but fell agonisingly short and despite holding the lead briefly in the final round, his last-round score of three-under 69 could only take his tournament total to nine-under 279. Sri Lankan amateur Mithun Perera finished in third place at two-under 286. Bangladesh’s Md Milon Ahmed finished ahead of Shiva Ram Shrestha in fourth place after the big-hitting local made a double bogey on the final hole to drop down the leaderboard to fifth place.
Despite finishing second, Rupak Acharya took home the winner’s cheque of Rs 486,000 as Saini, being an amateur, is not eligible to receive the prize money. Ashbeer, however, also took home the country championship trophy as a result of being the leading amateur in the field.
Speaking after the title, an elated Saini said, “I was very nervous after the seventh because I had lost the four-shot lead very quickly. I made a few mistakes and Rupak made good putts and all of a sudden we were tied for the lead. But those big putts on the 16th and 17th were very special and I just cannot describe how happy I am.”
Local favourite Rupak played some excellent golf of his own, catching up with the leader and even going one in front but just couldn’t complete it. He said, “I cannot be disappointed with the result. I played really well but you cannot complain when someone plays better. He just made some great putts towards the end and that was the turning point.
277: Ashbeer Saini (A) (IND) (70,70,66,71)
279: Rupak Acharya (68,72,70,69)
286: Mithun Perera (A) (SL) (70,72,73,71)
287: Md. Milon Ahmed (BD) (73,76,67,71)
288: Shiva Ram Shrestha (74,71,69,74)
294: Rabi Khadka (72,73,76,73)
294: Md. Rezaul Karim (BD) (71,74,76,73)
294: Sanjay Lama (71,77,75,71)
295: Md. Dulal Hussain (A) (BD) (75,77,74,69)
295: Mani Rai (77,71,74,73)