Sri Lanka’s Anura Rohana Win 16th Tata Open In Style
R.A. Anura Rohana, the 44-year-old Sri Lankan who won the Silver Medal in the 2002 Seoul Asian Games, Korea, has matured greatly with age and in the likes of Jeev Milka Singh and Mukesh Kumar, Top PGTI Senior Professionals who have continued to win on the PGTI and even on the Asian Tour, proved his worth beating a star studded field of top Indian Professional Golfers, on their Indian home soil.
Whilst the Sri Lankan Cricketers performed pathetically getting thrashed by the Indian Cricketers at will in India, the four Sri Lankan Professional Golfers playing in a field of 120 comprising largely Indian and other Pro’s dominated the Indians.
Anura Rohana, winner of the PGTI Pune Open in April with a 10 under Total and Ranked 12th in the PGTI 2017 Rankings, prior to the 16th TATA Open produced a stunning 61 – 10 under par, second round at the 16th TATA Open 2017, at the Golmuri Golf Course, Jamshedpur, on Friday to rise to joint 2nd place from 43rd place after Round 1.
Anura Rohana’s 10 under par 61 was studded with five Birdies in the front nine holes and an amazing Eagle and four birdies to crown a fantastic Round 2 and get bang into contention of winning the 16th TATA Open.
He followed up his scintillating 61, with early Birdies at the 2nd and 4th to contend for the lead, then missed a couple of up and down and bogeyed 5thand 6th, but another Birdie on the 9th and four more Birdies at Jamshedpur, three strokes ahead of Raju Ali Mollah at 14 Under par, after Round 3.
Sunday 17th December, the Final Round Teed off with Anura Rohana confident that his 3 stroke cushion going in to the Final Round would suffice, having the knowledge that his 5 under par, on Day 3 in tough windy conditions would help him to reach the finish ahead of the chasing pack.
The determination and his confidence was evident, starting the round with a Bogey on the 1st followed by seven pars, Birdie on the 9th and then a charge in the back nine, almost holing out for an Eagle on the 10th from 45 yards out.
Another two chip and putt birdies on the 12thand 16th, firmly assured Rohana of cruising to his 2nd PGTI win in 2017, and 5th PGTI Title in his career.
Rohana displayed total confidence and in control of the TATA Open, considering the fact that the eventual margin of 4 strokes from the chasing quintet of Indian stars the Kolkatta based golfers Viraj Madappa, Raju Ali Mollah, Gurgaoen’s Manu Gandas, Shammim Khan from Delhi and Noida’s Vikrant Chopra, all joint Runners-up.
A delighted Anura Rohana said “I am so happy to be the 2nd Sri Lankan to Win the TATA Open after Mithun won this tournament in 2012. I really want to thank Ashok Pathirage, Chairman, Softlogic PLC, who started sponsoring me in February/March this year and since then I finished 2nd in the Cochin Masters, followed up by winning the Pune Open, a couple of Top 10 finishes and now to win a second PGTI Title in the same year is great. My confidence has grown, since Softlogic Life sponsored me on the Professional Golf Tour of India and now I am ranked 3rd after the TATA OPEN win and I am going flat out, in the PGTI Finale The Mcleod Russel Championship feature tournament at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club from 21st – 24th December 2017, to try and earn the # 1 Rank in the PGTI for 2017”
Fellow Countrymen N. Thangaraja fired a 4 under par to climb to 7th place at 14 under, with 2012 TATA Open winner, Mithun Perera finishing on 13 under, Tied 8th place.
The 4th Sri Lankan in the TATA Open, K. Prabagaran 3rd placed after Round One, finished joint 26thwith a final total of 7 under par.
A great result for the four Sri Lankan Professional Golfers playing amongst the might of India.
The Sri Lankan Golfers are largely unheralded back home, in stark comparison to the Cricketers, probably due to the lack of popularity and familiarity of Golf in Sri Lanka.
Harping back to legendary Amateur Golfers of yester year, Pin Fernando who held his own in India, and then Nandasena Perera the Asian Silver Medalist in 1990 Beijing games, whose heroics in India, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, firmly established the talent and ‘hand-eye coordination skill’ of Sri Lankans, excelling in Golf.
The continuous run of Anura Rohana since winning the Seoul Asian Silver Medal, at age 44, is a redeeming factor for Sri Lankan sport and the time has come for Sri Lanka to reach the next level in Golf by establishing the Sri Lanka Professional Golf Tour giving opportunity to at least another 20 talented Golfers waiting in the wings, for lack of facilities to play in the PGTI or any other professional circuit overseas.
The Sri Lanka Golf Union the governing body of Golf in Sri Lanka has taken the initiative to introduce golf to Schools and is on an ambitious program, but all is lost, if the Career path for talented golfers coming through the development programs do not have the Local Golf Tour to enhance the professional golf career.
It is a known fact that golf is one of the most lucrative sports the world over and parents would do well, to encourage their talented kids to try their hand at golf, as a viable option to Cricket, since Golf provides more opportunity to succeed without restriction on ageing, gender and other barriers such as a limit of 11 players to the national team.
As we await Anura Rohana’s ascension to the top of the merit list in the PGTI 2017, let us put our hands and hearts together for the great performance of Anura Rohana, Mithun, Thanga and Prabhagaran.
16TH TATA Open – PGTI 2017 Final Standings after 4 Rounds
-19: R.A. Anura Rohana 69, 61, 66, 69
-15: Viraj Madappa, Raju Ali Mollah, Manu Gandas, Shamim Khan, Vikrant Chopra
-14: N. Thangaraja 67, 69, 67, 67
-13: Mithun Perera 66, 67, 71, 67, Om Prakash Chouhan
-12: Abhijit Singh Chadha (Leader after Rd 2) Digvijay Singh
-7 Tied: 26th K. Prabagaran (3rd after Rd1)