Anirban Lahiri and S. Chikkarangappa stood out from the pack as big-match players, firing three-under each in the semifinal knockouts as Puravankara Bangalore downed AVT Kolkata 3-0 for an entry into the final at the 3rd Louis Philippe Cup.
M. Dharma (71) performed better than course record-holder Rahil Ganjee (two-over 72) at the BPGC. Lahiri (67) beat Chiragh Kumar (one-over 71) and Chikkarangappa (67) followed suit to edge out consistent Shankar Das (two-under 68) in the head-to-head matchplay.
Mithun Perera remained the inspiration behind Navratna Ahmedabad’s 2-1 win over Krrish Colombo in the second semifinal, with Vikrant Chopra clinching a thrilling decider on the final hole after the first two singles were shared. The Sri Lankan extended his league form into the knockouts, notching 71 against 72 by countryman N. Thangaraja. Himmat Rai (68) was too strong for Perera teammate Vinod Kumar (72).
Chopra was pushed into a do-or-die situation in the face-off against K. Prabagaran, the third Sri Lankan in the PGTI event. The latter managed an eagle on the 18th to catch up (72), only to see Chopra shake off the cloud of doubts in his mind at the right time, a birdie on final hole. “I managed birdies and also made silly mistakes. It has been like this for some time, a bogey-birdie situation. He made an eagle on a good second shot, it is exciting to win this way.”
Noida Golf Course pro, Chopra, dwelt on Perera’s presence as the critical factor in Ahmedabad’s rise in Louis Philippe Cup. “We rely on Mithun a lot. He is the confidence booster for us. We are the most consistent side, qualifying for the final twice in three years and one semifinal last year,” noted the Delhi player, feeling at home with the Ahmedabad outfit after returning to competitive golf following an injury.
Semi-final scores: Puravankara Bangalore bt AVT Kolkata 3-0 (M Dharma 71 bt Rahil Gangjee 72, Anirban Lahiri 67 bt Chiragh Kumar 71, S Chikkarangappa 67 bt Shankar Das (68).
Navratna Ahmedabad beat Krrish Colombo 2-1 (Vinod Kumar 72 lost to Himmat Rai 68, Mithun Perera 71 bt N Thangaraja 72, Vikrant Chopra 71 bt K Prabagaran 72).