India’s S Chikkarangappa achieved the most noteworthy result of his professional career with a tied second finish at the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open on Sunday.
America’s Kurt Kityama won the event, carding 68 on the final day to end on a total score of 20 under 268.
Despite having two bogeys, Kityama had a double birdie on the fourth hole and four more single birdies to earn a cool 158,000 euro.
This was Chikka’s best result at the European PGA tour event as he carded 67 on the final day to finish on an aggregate score of 18 under 270. He shared the second spot with Frenchman Matthieu Pavon.
It was an incredible performance for the 25-year-old Indian as he stands to earn Euro 110,000 along with 222 points.
“It’s been the most important week of my career. A tied 2nd finish in an European PGA tour event. I also got my Asian Tour card. I couldn’t have asked for more,” Chikka told PTI after the tournament got over.
Starting the day at 13-under, Chikka had birdies on third and seventh hole while he escaped a bogey on the 8th hole where his first shot fell on the bunker.
However, his putting was excellent on the day as it was evident on the back nine where he had birdies on 13th and more importantly on the 16th and 17th hole.
On the final hole which was a par 5, he nearly got it wrong before getting a par.
“I have been through pressure situations since I turned pro and I have my own mechanism to deal with it,” said the Bangalore golfer.
“There is a particular breathing pattern that I follow on the course during certain situations that helps me absorb the pressure. It was no different today,” said Chikka.
The 222 ranking points will give him a chance to compete in bigger and better tournaments.
“I have two more weeks left this year with Indonesia and New Delhi where I would Like to carry this week’s momentum. Hopefully, next year I would compete at bigger events with better field,” he said, exuding confidence.
For someone of a humble beginning, Chikka was happy that golf has given him a chance of leading a good life. There were stories about how he used to make a dollar a day working on golf courses and he said it was a struggle even if some of them are exaggerations.
“This is true that I could not have afforded a sport like golf without support but some of it you know with time gets exaggerated. I am happy that I chose the correct sport instead of cricket.
“There are no guarantees in a team sport and I have seen youngsters not having fall-back options after not making it to the higher grades. My life has changed courtesy golf,” said Chikka.