Prabagaran defends Solar Therm Sri Lanka Open title
Monday, 2 February 2015 00:00
K. Prabagaran from Nuwara Eliya defended his title successfully by shooting five under par 66 to overhaul overnight leader Mithun Perera and convincingly stretch his lead by two for a grand aggregate total of 16 under par, to clinch the Champion Solar Therm Sri Lanka Open 2014 trophy.
Perera, starting the final round one stroke ahead of Prabagaran, was quickly overtaken by Prabagaran, who started with a birdie on the first hole and on the fifth to take the lead but a birdie on the eighth hole brought Mithun to tie on 13 under with Praba on the eighth hole creating much excitement with the excellent golf followed by a large and enthusiastic crowd.
Praba kept his calm and continued on the closing holes, birdying the 12th, 14th, 15th to establish a clear lead and made his first bogey on the 17th, only to recover the dropped shot with a classic birdie on the 18th to clinch the trophy and defend his title in style.
Dharma, from India playing alongside Mithun and Praba, wilted under the pressure to be five over par and slipped to 5th place but finished two shots ahead of Anura Rohana the seven-time winner who had to be content with sixth place on a two under, 282 aggregate score.
Thangaraja was in full flight scoring three under at the turn and carding a five under 66 to climb the standings to tie for third place with Zen Dharmaratne on a total six under par aggregate 278.
Dharmaratne did his sponsors CML MTD β Walkers Group proud, maintaining consistency and carding a 68 β three under par last round to overtake Anura Rohana and clinch a third place tie.
The 40 players who made the cut-off collected prize money organised by the Sri Lanka Golf Union and sponsored generously by title sponsor Solar Therm, affiliate sponsors UTE-CAT and CML MTD Walkers Group.
The sponsorship contribution including hospitality sponsorship by Cinnamon Red and goodwill sponsors, attracted international players, Andreas Adler playing in the Swedish Pro Tour, Zen Dharmaratne ranked 29th on the Malaysian Tour, Sandeep Syal (Ind), M. Dharma (Ind), M.D. Sayum (Bnd) and Sri Lankan professionals Mithun, ranked 40th on the Asian Tour, Prabagaran, Anura Rohana and Thangaraja in the top 20 of the Indian Professional Golf Tour to complete a competitive field.
The overall standard of golf was excellent and augurs well for the future of Sri Lanka golf with several juniors too such as Prashan Peiris, Ishira Fernando and Sachin De Silva making the cut.
In the Ladiesβ event sponsored by UTE-Cat for the Pam Fernando Challenge Trophy, Niloo Jayathilakeβs consistency was rewarded when she beat her nearest rival Tania Balasuriya by ten strokes on the Gross score. Irene Scarth was the clear winner in the nett standings.
Solar Therm Sri Lanka Open 2014 β Final Standings
Winner - K. Prabagaran 268 β 67, 67, 68, 66 (-16)
Runner-up - Mithun Perera 270 β 67, 68, 66, 69 (-14)
3rd place β N. Thangaraja 278 β 73, 68, 71, 66, Zen Dharmaratne 278 β 70, 69, 71, 68 (-6)
5th place - M. Dharma (Ind) 280 β 67, 68, 69, 76, (-4)
6th place β Anura Rohana 282 β 69,69, 71, 73, (-2)
7th place β Vijitha Bandara 284 β 73, 68, 71, 72, (even)
8th Place β B.G. Lalith Kumara 288 β 73, 75, 66, 74, (+4)
9th Place β Sisra Kumara 289 β 70, 70, 77, 72, (+5)
10th Place β M. Arumugam 293 β 67, 76, 77, 73, (+9)
UTE β CAT Challenge Trophy
Aggregate Gross Score Two Rounds Winner: Kushal Johnpillai 146 R/up: Prashan Peiris 155
Handicap Category 15-28 Aggregate Nett Score Winner: Rohan Rodrigo 158 R/up: Kyle Oritz 165
Pam Fernando Challenge Trophy
Aggregate Gross Score Two Rounds Winner: Niloo Jayathilake 170 R/up: Tania Balasuriya 180
Aggregate Nett Score Two Rounds Winner: Irene Scarth 148 R/up: Niloo Jayathilake 152