Joshi takes honours in stroke play at All India Amateur golf

Bangalore, Feb 2 (PTI) Teenager Khalin Joshi (73) heldoff Asian Games silver medallist Abhijit Chadha (71) over thefinal holes to take honours in the 36-hole stroke play segmentof the All India Amateur Golf Championships at the KGA heretoday.

With the top 32 decided, the stage is now set forthe Matchplay segment of the more than 100-year-oldNational Amateur Championships.

The 18-year-old Joshi, who was the first round leader,added a 73 despite a last-hole bogey even as Chadha birdiedthe 16th and 17th and made a bid to catch up with the formerin windy conditions.

Joshi totaled 141, while Chadha and CG Somiah (69-73)aggregated 142. They were the only three players to havesub-par totals for 36 holes.

The top 32 players qualified for the Matchplay stage,which begins on Thursday. The last four spots for thematchplay were decided in a sudden death play-off betweeneight players.

Prince Kajotia, Saqib Ahmed, Bhanu Pratap and Raghav Wahimade the qualifying mark in the play-off.

On a difficult day for scoring, Chadha was the only oneto bring in a sub-par card with a 71, that included sixbirdies, two on the front stretch and four on the back nine.

He also had five bogeys, four of which came on the firstnine.

Abhinav Lohan added a 72 to his first round 75 to finishat 147 in fourth place.

Defending champion S Chikkrangappa shot 76 for a total of150 and ended in a tie for sixth, that included HoneyBaisoya.

In the International Match India ''A'', represented byAsian Games stars like Chadha and Lohan, took honours with atotal of 289.

They finished six strokes ahead of India ''B'' with KhalinJoshi and Gagan Verma, while India ''D'', with Saqib Ahmad andRahul Ravi, were third at 307 as the hosts swept all three topspots.

In the first round of matchplay, Khalin will meet Saqiband Lohan will take on Bhanu Pratap. Abhijit Chadha meetsPrince Katojia. Chikka will take on Pratap Atwal and AshbeerSaini will clash with N Thangaraja in the marquee matches. PTICorr AH

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