Prasad prevails in play-off at Faldo Series India Championship
Kolkata, India (November 30): A trip to Mission Hills China awaits Arjun Prasad following his tense play-off victory in the Faldo Series India Boys Championship.
National junior squad member Prasad edged out Kartik Sharma at the first hole of sudden-death after an intriguing 72-hole contestin the 15th leg of the record-breaking 2015-2016 Faldo Series Asia season at the Tollygunge Club.
Second on the Indian Golf Union’s Junior ‘A’ Boys Order of Merit, Prasad proved a model of watchful consistency over the 6,235-yard, par-70 layout, an oasis of green nestled in the heart of urban Kolkata.
Displaying outstanding course management, Prasad was a worthy winner, being the only player in the field to record four rounds of even-par or better.
Four strokes clear of Sharma heading into the final round, Prasad saw his lead evaporate as his rival covered the opening 10-hole stretch in four-under.
Over a topsy-turvy last eight holes in the World Amateur Golf Ranking event, the lead exchanged hands. When Prasad regained a one-shot initiative going to the 18th, victory appeared within his grasp.
But Prasad could only manage a bogey-four at the 202-yard last for a closing 70 to leave the door ajar for Sharma who duly made par and signed for a 66, the best round of the week.
That meant the duo ended the regulation tournament locked together on five-under-par 275. On their return to the course, it was Delhi-based Prasad who prevailed.
Illustrating the current strength of golf in the Under-16 category in India, Aadil Bedi and Manav Bais had to content themselves with a share of third place on even-par 280.
There was disappointment for pre-tournament favourite Karandeep Kochhar who ended equal sixth on 286.
Joining Prasad at the 10th Anniversary Faldo Series Asia Grand Final, to be hosted by Sir Nick Faldo at Mission Hills China next March, will be Shubham Narain.
Winner in the Under-16 division last year, Narain posted a six-stroke triumph in the Under-18 segment this time around.
Already qualified for the Grand Final was Diksha Dagar who triumphed in last month’s Faldo Series India Girls’ Championship.
Six-time Major champion Faldo, Britain’s most successful golfer, said: “Congratulations to Arjun and Shubham. Their victories ensure that India will once more enjoy a strong presence at the Faldo Series Asia Grand Final.”
Supported by The R&A and Mission Hills and endorsed by the Asian Tour and the Asia Pacific Golf Confederation, the 2015-16 Faldo Series Asia campaign stretches over 11 months and boasts a minimum of 21 events in 17 countries including, for the first time, Australia.
Recognised as the only global amateur series for boys and girls, the Faldo Series was established in 1996, expanding to Asia in 2006.
Today, 40 Faldo Series tournaments take place in 30-plus countries worldwide, touching more than 7,000 golfers each year. Past winners include Tseng Ya-ni and Rory McIlroy, who took his tally of professional Major titles to four with his wins at last year’s Open Championship and US PGA Championship.
Faldo Series India Boys Championship, leading final scores:
283 – Shubham Narain (68-70-76-69)
289 – Kunal Naidu (73-75-70-71); Varun Parikh (76-69-70-74)
297 – Surya Kumar (78-73-74-72)
308 – Bishwam Ghosh (74-80-76-78)
275 – Arjun Prasad (70-67-68-70); Kartik Sharma (71-69-69-66)
280 – Aadil Bedi (70-68-74-68); Manav Bais (69-72-69-70)
285 – Vignesh Thakur (78-67-73-67)