Ashbeer captures Tata Eastern Open

Last Updated: Tue, Dec 25, 2012 13:36 hrs

Young Ashbeer Saini celebrated Christmas with a sweet victory to annex the Tata Steel Eastern India Open Amateur title.

The 19-year-old eagled the 33rd hole (15th hole of the course) to seal the match 4 & 3 in his favour against a fighting Karan Taunk at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club here on Tuesday.

Kaputhala better known for the Rail Coach Factory has now produced two champions in Ashbeer and Gaganjeet Bhullar who is making waves on the world golfing map.

"I am quite inspired by the exploits of Gaganjeet Bhullar and would one day try and emulate him," said the champion who had won an international professional event - Surya Nepal Masters - three years ago.

"I am thrilled to win the prestigious event," said Ashbeer who incidentally won his maiden amateur title after having made umpteen number of bridesmaid finishes.

It took a little while for the champion to realize the Eastern India Amateur, established in 1892 is the oldest Open after the British Open.

"I do not have words to describe the feeling after winning such a title and that too at the home of Indian golf - Royal Calcutta Golf Club. I will cherish the moments forever," he added.

Tata Steel who have taken on the mantle of the title sponsors have truly added steel in the growth and development program for the sport of golf.

"We are happy to present a platform for these youngsters to showcase their talent while preparing them for bigger platforms such as professional golf and the various Tours across the world," said Farzan Heerjee, Head Corporate Relations, Tata Steel.

"We are also very keen to grow the game from the grass root level which will help in unearthing talent and help young players to take up the game," he added.

The steel major also adopted the IGU East Zone junior Tour from where have emerged a handful of talented young turks.

Karan who hails from the home of Tata Steel - Jamshedpur - began in the right earnest winning the first hole.

However, Ashbeer pulled out his experience and by the end of the first nine was 2-up and consolidated his position at the end of 18 holes going 5-up.

Karan pulled up his socks in the second 18 when he reduced the lead on the opening hole and later won three consecutive holes to reduce the margin to 2-down by the 29th hole. Ashbeer fired a birdie on the next to go 3-up.

After they had squared the next two holes with birdies, Ashbeer still leading 3-up was on the edge of the green on the 33rd hole while Karan was two on the green.

The diminutive golfer from the North chipped-in for an eagle leaving a tough chance for Karan to take the match further. Karan missed the eagle putt and conceded the match.

"My short game was excellent as I saved some very good pars when it was needed. He did gave a good fight in the second 18 but I was confident of my victory all through the match," said Ashbeer who is planning to turn professional after the Tata Steel All India Amateur to be held at the same venue from January 7-13.

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