KOLKATA, NOV 11 ; Local lad Viraj Madappa produced a masterful display of stroke play golf as he grabbed a three stroke lead at the Tata Steel West Bengal Amateur 2014 being played at Par – 70 Tollygunge Club here.
The trio of Samarth Dwivedi, Aman Raj of Patna and Kolkata’s Sunit Chowrasia are placed second after shooting a two-under par 68. A further two strokes behind is the duo of B. R. Raja and Chandigarh’s Zubin Nijhawan who carded an even-par 70. Three players are tied a further stroke behind followed by nine more teid at two-over par 72 including Order of Merit leader Udayan Mane and All India Amateur champion Pratap Atwal.
Viraj, fresh from his victory at the Faldo Series Qualifier last week in Mumbai, began assuredly and made nine straight pars to go out an even par 34. He sensed birdie opportunities all day but the putts that didn’t fall began doing so from the Par 5 10th hole onwards. He hit four further birdies on the 12th, 14th, 15th and 17th holes interspersed with pars to round in a superb bogey-free five-under par 65.
The leader, who is still a junior, said, “I’m delighted with my round today as I felt I was in the zone doing all the right things out there on the course.” He added, “This is my home course and I really do expect to do well here this week.”
Top scores (after 18 holes):
65 Viraj Madappa; 68 Samarth Dwivedi, Aman Raj, Sunit Chowrasia; 70 B. R. Raja, Zubin Nijhawan; 71 Anant Singh Ahlawat, Trishul Chinnappa, Pukhraj Singh Gill; 72 Vivek Gupta, Aalaap I. L., Akram Ali Mollah, Md. Wasil, Sk. Azish Ali, Udayan Mane, Pratap Atwal, Syed Saqib Ahmed, Vikram Rana.