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Madaiah takes solitary shot lead
September 30, 2005 18:10 IST
S Madaiah, the lean pro from Bangalore, enjoyed a solitary stroke lead over overnight leader Ashok Kumar even as Amby Valley PGAI Tour's `Champion golfer of the Year' Mukesh Kumar made a stunning comeback with a superb bogey-free round of eight-under 62 at the Rs 10-lakh Hyundai-MGC Open at the par-70 MGC Golf Links, in Chennai on Friday.
Madaiah's 54-hole total stood at 13-under 197, one better than Ashok, while city-mate C Muniyappa and SSP Chowrasia were tied for the third place at 199 along with Mukesh.
Feroz Ali added a 66 to his overnight total to be in the sole sixth position while Vijay Kumar was seventh at 201. Nabin Mondal and Rafick Ali were in the eighth and ninth position respectively.
Madaiah, whose parents still are daily-wage labourers at the Karnataka Golf Association, flirted with his first title on the Amby Valley PGAI Tour when he was within striking range on a couple of occasions last season. After being joint-leader in the opening round, Madaiah today made a cautious start and made his first birdie on the par-5 third, sinking a 15-footer. However, he could not hole a six-footer par putt on the next hole. But that was the end of his mistakes as he made consecutive birdies on the sixth and seventh while also chipping-in from 15 yards on the ninth to be three-under after the first nine.
Playing without any pressure, Madaiah continued the good work on his back nine too. Though he missed a couple of birdies from close, he took it with a smile. With a hat-trick of birdies beginning from the 12th, the 24-year-old parred his way home for a round of six-under 64. He saved a good par on the finishing hole draining a 15-footer after being in the green-side bunker.
"I am happy with my round although I was unlucky on a couple of occasions," said Madaiah, who hit only 12 greens I regulation while making 27 putts. "The greens are tricky and who so ever makes the putts, will emerge as the winner. Everybody on the Tour hit it identically but the putt have to roll," he added.
Ashok Kumar began and ended his round with a bogey. But in between he made six birdies as well. Leading by two strokes overnight, the 24-year-old today was in an aggressive mood. And this perhaps led him to missing many birdies, as he later admitted. After that dismal start, Ashok did manage to salvage with successive birdies on the third and fourth and was frustrated when his putts did not drop, with some of them being really close. After a birdie on the ninth, Ashok then made a series of three consecutive birdies on the par-5 12, the 13th and 14th, both four-par holes.
"I was too aggressive and whenever I realized, I controlled myself," said Ashok who is looking for his first win on the Amby Valley PGAI Tour 2005-06 season.
However, it was Mukesh Kumar who stole the show. The first six holes saw him missing many birdie chances beginning with the par-5 third where he three-putted from seven feet when he was sitting in two for an eagle. And when the birdies began to flow, they never stopped as he made four in a row from seventh. Again on the back nine, the 38-year-old lost at least three opportunities of making birdies. However he did convert four of them – 12th, 14th, 16th and 17th to fight his way back into contention.
"My driving is a bit of problem. But it is the putting that I am unhappy about," said Mukesh who missed only two greens in regulation.
SSP Chowrasia had an unusual round where he fired seven birdies besides an eagle and yet finished five-under for the day, courtesy the four bogeys.
Top scores (after 54 holes) Pros: 197 S Madaiah (B'lore) (65, 68, 64); 198 Ashok Kumar (Del) (65, 66, 67); 199 Mukesh Kumar (Mhow) (71, 66, 62), SSP Chowrasia (Kol) (67, 67, 65), C Muniyappa (B'lore) (65, 68, 66); 200 Feroz Ali (Kol) (67, 67, 66); 201 Vijay Kumar (Lucknow) (71, 62, 68); 202 Nabin Mondal (Kol) (66, 68, 68); 203 Rafick Ali (Kol) (69, 66, 68); 204 Vinod Kumar (Del) (68, 70, 66); 205 Matloob Rana (Pak) (68, 68, 69); 206 Harinder Gupta (73, 70, 63), Indrajit Bhalotia (Kol) (70, 68, 68), Vishal Singh (Jaipur) (66, 72, 68), Sankar Das (Kol) (70, 67, 69), Sheeraz Kalra (Lucknow) (68, 69, 69), Amritinder Singh (Gurgaon) (69, 67, 70) Amateurs: 211 L Selvadurai (75, 68, 68); 223 R Prithviraj (76, 70, 78); 224 S Jayanan (73, 74, 77).