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Tarun wins Sportstar Open

Sports Reporter

— Photo: K.V. Srinivasan

Tarun Veeraraghavan.

Chennai: Tarun Veeraraghavan clinched the Sportstar Open golf tournament here on Sunday after carding a one-over-par 71 in the second round to finish with 141 for the tournament, three strokes clear of L. Selvadurai, who finished second.

Tarun's title was his second in three years, and the fourth in a row for the Veeraraghavan household — Tarun's brother Darshan won the other two times during that period.

Tarun didn't get off to a great start on Sunday, with two bogeys in the first three holes causing him to lose the two-stroke lead he had over Selvadurai in round one. His troubles grew worse at the fifth, when an over-hit chip out of a bunker caused him to double bogey.

The turnaround happened immediately at the par-three sixth, where he got on the green with his drive and birdied with an assured long putt over an uneven section of green, pockmarked with bald spots.

What followed was spectacular — Tarun and Selvadurai traded birdies right up to the tenth, with the latter completing a spectacular 25-foot putt at the ninth green. Tarun's birdie at the tenth brought the lead pair's scores to a tie, a situation that continued over the next two holes. Both sliced another stroke off their scores with birdies at the 12th.

The decisive moment came at the 13th green, where Selvadurai's par putt curled wide after Tarun had buried a difficult long putt for par. Tarun almost relinquished his lead again at the 14th with an over-hit chip but made amends with another composed long par putt. Selvadurai's far more straightforward par putt dribbled over and beyond the hole, leaving him with a deficit too wide to bridge over the final three holes.

The results:

Open (gross scores): 1. Tarun Veeraraghavan 141, 2. L. Selvadurai 144.

Handicap (nett scores): 1. Shivnaren Srinivasan 139, 2. Arjun Rao 139.

Ladies (nett scores): 1. Aruna Kulanthaivelu 138, 2. Vedika Parvez 140.

Team: 1. Karun Alagnan, Aruna Kulanthaivelu and Naveen Kumar, 2. Sumit Pant, Krishnamurthy and Shivnaren Srinivas.

Bogey winner: Dhananjaya Das. Stableford winner: C. Chandrasekar. Closest to Pin: V.P. Ganesh. Longest Drive: Mani Ratnam. Senior winner: Rajasekar .

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