Overnight leader Narahenpitage Amarapadma continued his good form, having won the January edition of the Pin Fernando Grand Prix, powered by CAT SOLAR and sponsored by United Tractor and Equipment, maintaining the lead at the halfway stage of the CAT SOLAR February edition.
The picturesque Victoria Golf and Country Resort Course in Digana was playing long especially off the blue tee markers with the rain-softened ground not providing much run on the ball. Fifty-four faced the starter on day one and the cut-off was implemented at 170, with only 18 making the cut. All players played round two with a black armband to mark the untimely death of veteran national golfer Manasan Arumugam.
Aru, as he was fondly known, represented the Sri Lanka golf team for the best part of 15 years. He performed with credit and reached the semi-finals of the 129th Sri Lanka Amateur Golf Championship played in October 2016.
Aru lost in the semi-final to the eventual winner of the championship from Thailand. Aru also represented Sri Lanka at the Bangladesh Amateur Golf Championship, played at the Kurmitola Golf Club in Dhaka, at the dawn of 2017. Aru’s death is both untimely and unexpected and he his absence will be truly felt. As a mark of respect and concern for Arumugam’s fellow players, the sponsor of Pin Fernando Grand Prix, CAT SOLAR powered UTE, consented to reducing the event to three rounds.
CAT SOLAR Pin Fernando Grand Prix – February edition standings at cut-off
151 – N. Amarapadma
153 – M.H. Chalitha Pushpika
156 – B.A. Sanjeewa
157 – Navinda Ranga
159 – M.U. Chanaka Perera
160 – G.M. Pradeep Kumara
161 – D.M. Pradeep Bandara (Navy)
165 – G. Sridaran (Navy)
166 – P.D.S.U. Kumara (AF)
167 – Lamindu Rainika, T. Jayaseelan (AF)
169 – P. Ruben (AF), A.C. Mohan (AF), T. Shivakumar (Navy), Dhanaranjan, M. Prashanth
170 – Uchitha Ranasinghe