Calcutta: Viraj Madappa continued his brilliant run as he stormed into the final of the Tata Steel Amateur Golf Championship at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club on Saturday.
The Calcutta-boy made short work of his opponent Abel Tam of Malaysia as he won 7 & 6. In the final, he will meet Delhi’s Shubhankar Sharma, who defeated Arshad Ali 4 & 3 in the other semi-final.
History will beckon Viraj as he might become the youngest national champion in the history of Indian golf. For the record, the 15-year-old is the current All India junior champion and has moved into A category recently. If he wins the title on Sunday, he might have the rare honour of holding both the senior and junior titles at the same time.
After sharing the honours in the first two holes, Viraj displayed some brilliant skills to go 4-up by the ninth hole. He closed the match on the 12th hole itself for a 7 & 6 victory.
Viraj’s stroke play round for the 12 holes of regulation play was 2-under, but with Tam suffering from Delhi-belly, it turned out to be a one-sided match.
The other semi-final, however, saw a close contest, in which Shubhankar and Arshad shared eight birdies.
While Shubhankar hit birdies on the first two holes, Arshad responded by hitting an identical number of birdies on the next two holes to level the score.
The 16-year-old Shubhankar, who won the Faldo Series India leg recently, then opened up a four-hole advantage at the end of 10 holes.
But Arshad made a good comeback, pulling back to 2-down at the end of 13th hole. However, Shubhankar held his nerves as he shot a birdie on the 15th to move into the enthralling 36-hole final.
Meanwhile, the second IGU-R&A Level-2 School is being held at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club from January 12-14.
Following a successful 2011, more than 70 candidates are attending the on-going clinic where R&A and IGU will each provide instructors for the National School.