Chikkarangappa S. secured the final Asian Tour card for 2018 after finishing tied 20th at the Indonesian Masters.
The Indian was ecstatic with the result which pushed him to 61st position on the Order of Merit and immediately thanked his good friend and former Order of Merit winner Anirban Lahiri for helping him rise to the occasion.
“I spent two good solid days with Anirban in Ahmedabad before coming to Indonesia and we spoke about staying positive. That helped a lot because I came out here to enjoy my golf game,” said Chikka, who was 67th in the ranking before going to Jakarta.
“That’s what I did on the first three days but I was a bit nervous in the final round because I knew I was on the borderline and I didn’t want it to slip out of my hands. It is very special to keep my Asian Tour card.”
He admitted he was low on confidence after missing 13 cuts before coming to the Indonesian Masters which was the final Asian Tour event in 2017.
“I felt very low about missing the cuts because you feel blind when you are playing golf. That’s how I was feeling the last couple of weeks. I was not able to see shots and play the shots I wanted to. I lost all energy but Anirban gave me the energy to fight on this week,” said Chikka.
The Indian is now looking forward to the new 2018 season where he hopes to better his superb 2016 season when he finished a career high of 27th place on the Order of Merit.
“The whole year I was struggling and missing cuts and it has been on my mind but now it is off my mind because I finished top-61! All the negativity has completely washed out of my system and I look forward to 2018,” Chikka smiled.
Tour rookie Sihwan Kim of the United States enjoyed a solid week at the Indonesian Masters where he finished in tied sixth place after closing with a 70. He earned US$23,175 which saw him move to 55th position on the Order of Merit from 71st.
“There was a lot of grinding this week so I feel great. Thank God it is over,” said Kim. “Obviously coming into this tournament, I knew what my goals were and I executed it well. There were a lot of nerves but I had some good breaks and I trusted myself.”
Rahil Gangjee of India, who missed the cut in Indonesia, finished 60th on the Order of Merit to retain his Asian Tour card while Giwhan Kim of Korea ended his campaign in a share of 20th place in Indonesia to end the 2017 season in 59th place on the Merit ranking.
(Read more in the January issue of Golf Digest India. Download here.)