|Puravankara Bangalore finish runners-up in the Louis Philippe Cup
10 March 2012
Anirban Lahiri concedes his match after Abhishek Jha and Manav Jaini lose their ties to settle for the second spot
Bangalore: Puravankara Bangalore who performed exceptionally well to enter the finals of the inaugural edition of the Louis Philippe Cup lost to Navratna Ahmedabad to finish as the runners-up.In the last match of the final encounter, Anirban Lahiri, cheered on by hundreds of fans on home ground conceded his match against Vikrant Chopra of Navratna Ahmedabad on the 15th hole after his team-mate Manav Jaini lost decisively to Vinod Kumar by 5 holes and Abhishek Jha lost his tie against Mithun Perera by three holes.
Playing in front of a cheering home crowd, Manav Jaini, theAll India match-play Champion was 1 down against Navratna Ahmedabad's Vinod Kumar at the 5th hole ultimately losing 5 & 4 to Vinod Kumar. Playing against Navratna Ahmedabad's Sri Lankan Star Mithun Perera, Abhishek Jha was trailing 3-0 at the 13th hole, coming back on the 14th hole to reduce the margin to 2 UP, but Mithun, who continued his fine form to the last day of the Louis Philippe Cup, went on to win the match with 3 &2.
In the last match for Puravankara Bangalore, Anirban Lahiri went neck to neck against Vikrant Chopra until losing the 14th hole and decided not to continue post the 15th hole on realising that fellow teammates Manav Jaini and Abhishek Jha had lost their matches.
With a 3 -0 win, Navratna Ahmedabad took home the winners of the inaugural edition of the Louis Philippe Cup and a cash prize of Rs 36 lakhs while Puravankara Bangalore were runners up for the tournament going home with a prize of Rs. 24 lakhs.
Speaking about their win and their journey from underdogs to ultimate winners, Vikrant Chopra, team captain of Navrathna Ahmedabad said, "People thought Navratna Ahmedabad were the underdogs when the tournament started, but since the latter half of 2011 both Mithun Perera and Vinod Kumar have been in great form, and they both won a PGTI title each. Mithun and I both ended the year ranked within the top 10 in the 2011 PGTI Order of merit and Vinod Kumar is also high up there, so we knew that we had a strong team and that confidence has helped us through."
Anirban Lahiri, as team captain for Puravnkara Bangalore, commented "While it was disappointing to not win, overall it has been a fantastic week for us and the Louis Philippe Cup is a fantastic tournament. In our semi-finals we beat TAKE Chennai who were considered a solid team and that was great, we also have enjoyed playing together as a team and are glad for this experience."
In the play offs for the third position.
TAKE Chennai's won against Dev-Ellora Chandigarh, as SSP Chowrasia beat Harendra Gupta 2 & 1 while Gaurav Ghei beat Sujjan Singh at the he 20th hole. Anura Rohana, who has been in great form for the whole tournament and third member of TAKE Chennai beat Dev-Ellora Chandigarh's Gaganjeet Bhullar at the 20th hole in the decider to finish in the third place.
In the playoffs for the 5th place AVT Kolota beat 3 Delhi, with both Feroz Ali Mollah and Shankar Das wining their matches against Rashid Khan and Om Prakash Chauhan of 3C Delhi respectively. Shiv Kapur was the sole winner for the 3C Delhi who won against 2011 PGTI Player of the year Chiragh Kumar. While Ansal API Lucknow white washed Oxford Group West 3 - 0 to finish in 7th place in the Louis Philippe Cup.
The final day of the inaugural edition of the Louis Philippe Cup saw a large crowd of spectators throng to the Karnataka Golf Association to see their favourite golf stars in action. Commenting on the overall success of the tournament, Rishi Narain, MD RN Golf management and promoters of the event said, "We're happy that players like Jeev, Jyoti, Shiv and others enjoyed the unique format we created. The new experience of playing for a city team, combining stroke-play and match -play, amateurs on the city team created exactly the right type of competitive pressure, excitement and challenge that top pro sportsmen enjoy. It tested each player's nerves, stamina and skill while provoking strategy, leadership and team building skills equally."
As the curtains came down on the greatest show in Indian golf, the moments of excitement will linger, ecstasy will remain in the hearts and minds of players spectators and organisers as they eagerly await the second edition of the Louis Philippe Cup.