Kolkata, Dec 25 (UNI) Gagan Verma would never forget the Christmas-2007. Leading 2-up after the first 18 holes in the 36-hole final, Gagan not only lost his tempo but the match and title to Sri Lankan Mithun Perera who showed his brilliant putting prowess to wrest the Goodricke Eastern India title.
The stocky golfer won 4&3 in the final of the stroke-play cum match play event which formed the 11th leg of the LG Indian Amateur Golf Tour.
Gagan began winning the first hole with a birdie only to square it on the third. He wrested the initiative to win the 4th, 7th and 10th to go 3-up with Mithun reducing the margin on the 11th.
The duo shared a hole each on the 14th and 16th respectively as Gagan went into the breaker with a 2-up lead.
When the play resumed, Mithun was a changed person as he began the repair-task by making a birdie on the 19th hole to cut the lead to 1-up.
After matching stroke by stroke on the next three holes, the 24-year-old from Royal Colombo Golf Club won four holes in a row to be 3-up. Gagan pulled one back on the 27th, winning it with a birdie. Going all out, the Delhi lad incurred bogeys on the 28th and 29th holes to Mithun's pars to give a 4-up advantage to the visitor.
Mithun lost the very next hole but a wayward tee shot on the 33rd hole (course's 15th) from Gagan handed the victory to Mithun as he finished with a par to Gagan's bogey.
''I am thrilled to win the prestigious event. I was a bit shaken after the first 18 but I said to myself that I am not going down without a fight. My only intention was to make par and waited for Gagan to make a mistake,'' said Mithun after the round. ''I have been playing on the LG Indian Amateur Golf Tour and I find it very competitive. I have improved my golf tremendously,'' he added.
Final result (36-hole): 11-Mithun Perera bt 12-Gagan Verma 4&3.