Mithun Perera produced an eight-under 62 on the second day of the 3rd Louis Philippe Cup 2014, helping Navratna Ahmedabad vault to the first place in the nine-team pro golf league, totaling 15-under 265 (133, 132) after 36 holes. Day one leaders AVT Kolkata also finished on 15-under 265 (129, 136) but were placed second on count back.
Puravankara Bangalore (14-under 266) and Krrish Colombo (11-under 269) were placed third and fourth. These four qualified for the semifinal knockouts, where Ahmedabad faces Colombo, Kolkata takes on Bangalore in the matchplay strokeplay format over the next two days. Dev Ellora Laqshya Mumbai aggregated four-under 276 to end up as the bottom-placed side.
The Sri Lankan equaled the course record set by Rahil Ganjee a day earlier at the BPGC, hitting nine birdies and a bogey for 10-under over two rounds. Vikrant Chopra (72, 70) and Vinod Kumar (65, 70) had par rounds. “My goal is to play as many tournaments on the Asian Tour as possible,” said the Royal Colombo Golf Course pro. “I could have done better. The shifting wind made things difficult. You have to respect the course.”
He talked about the breakthrough for golf in Lanka in the wake of domestic conflict involving the LTTE ending. “I am happy that youngsters back home realise that it is possible to make a living from golf. They see us earning money and more amateurs are turning professional. Four Lankans are playing the Indian tour, new courses are coming up as investors are showing interest in Lanka.”
Employed with the Sri Lankan Port Authority, the 27-year-old competes for Navratna Ahmedabad in the four-day PGTI event. Lankan pros K Prabagaran and N Thangaraja play for Krrish Colombo, along with Indian pro Himmat Rai. AVT Kolkata’s Rahil Ganjee managed a par 70 on day two, teammates Shankar Das chipped in with 68 each.
Shubhkamna Delhi got fifth place despite a power-packed squad featuring Jeev Milkha Singh, Rashid Khan and Shamim Khan and will vie for placings. Jeev recovered from four-over on day one to notch two-under. “I am planning to take seven weeks off, hope to use the time at home recovering from a viral infection and shoulder problem, before returning on the circuit.”
Team standings after two rounds (four qualifiers):
1. 15-under 265 - Navratna Ahmedabad 133-132 (Mithun Perera 68-62, Vikrant Chopra 72-70, Vinod Kumar 65-70).
2. 15-under 265: AVT Kolkata 129-136 (Rahil Gangjee 62-70, Chiragh Kumar 75-68, Shankar Das 67-68).
3. 14-under 266 - Puravankara Bangalore 131-135 (Anirban Lahiri 65-67, M Dharma 66-70, S Chikkarangappa 66-68).
4. 11-under 269 - Krrish Colombo 131-138 (Himmat Rai 65-69, K Prabagaran 66-69, N Thangaraja 72-70).
Semi-final line-up: Navratna Ahmedabad vs Krrish Colombo; AVT Kolkata vs Puravankara Bangalore.