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India win SAARC golf

April 20, 2003 21:22 IST

India reasserted their supremacy as a golfing superpower of the region, drubbing Sri Lanka 3-0 to clinch the fifth SAARC Golf championship at the par-72 Delhi Golf Club on Sunday.

This is India's fifth consecutive victory and the fourth time that they beat Sri Lanka in the final.

Last year India beat Bangladesh when the tournament was played at the Classic Golf Resort.

In the final, which was played on matchplay format, Jaideep Patwardhan was a 6&4 winner against N Amaraprathama while India's No 1 amateur Keshav Misra won 3&2 against JMD Indika Santha.

The Best Individual Player of the Championship title was bagged by Harinder Gupta, who was pushed to 19th hole before he beat a battling B G Lalitha Kumara.

"Apart from a couple of three-putts, I played a solid round. I am happy to have played a role in India's victory, more so because I made it to the team at the last minute," said Patwardhan, who replaced Sandy Lehal in the team when the latter pulled out on personal grounds.

Indika Santha gave a scare to Misra by winning the first two holes with birdies. But the Indian No 1 amateur pulled back and won the next five holes at a stretch before finishing the match on the 16th hole.

"I putted miserably throughout the tournament, but somehow managed to pull it through. It was very satisfying to win the SAARC trophy for my country at my home course," said Misra.

As expected, the best match of the day was between Gupta and Lalitha Kumara.

After going neck and neck and finishing 18 holes all-square, Gupta won on the 19th with a bogey. Lalitha Kumara, after being near the edge of the green in two shots on the par-5 hole, made a mess of the hole and three-putted for a double bogey to lose.

Final results: India bt Sri Lanka 3-0 Harinder Gupta (Ind) bt BG Lalitha Kumara (SL) 19th hole; Jaideep Patwardhan (Ind) bt M Amaraprathama (SL) 6&4; Keshav Misra (Ind) bt JMD Indika Santha (SL) 3&2.

Loser's Plate: 1. 146 - Bangladesh (Mohd Siddikur Rehman 72, Mohd Milon Ahammad 74, Mohd Sayum 85) 2. 162 - Nepal (Tashi Ghale 75, CB Bhandari 87, Deep Basnet 87); 3. 172 - Bhutan (Karma Lama 81, Ugen Dorjee 91, Dawo Penjore 94).

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