Mangalorean Rigel Triumphs at Toyota IGU All India Junior Golf Championship
New Delhi, Jan 1: 15-year-old Rigel Fernandes from Mangalore, currently based at the IMG Academies in Florida, won the Toyota IGU All India Junior Golf Championship held at the Army Golf Course in New Delhi from December 27 to 30, 2011.
Rigel won the Category A (under 18 years) by a margin of 9 strokes over Satwik Jain of Army Golf Course, New Delhi by scoring a total of 254 over 4 rounds of 74, 75, 70 and 35 (9 holes). Satwik Jain had scores of 76, 75, 72 and 40 for a total of 263.
Rigel was also the overall winner in the A-B category over Viraj Madappa of Tollyganj Golf Club, Calcutta by 5 strokes. Viraj scored 77, 76, 70 and 36 for a total of 259.
The playing conditions were pretty tough in New Delhi with fog and bad light playing havoc all through the four days. The final day's play had to be reduced to 9 holes due to severe fog with very little visibility.
On the final day where play was delayed until 11:15 am, Rigel started as the leader after the third round with a 4 stroke lead over Viraj Madappa in the combined A-B categoy. He started in an excellent fashion with a birdie on hole no 1. Viraj pulled one back with a birdie on hole no 2 to Rigel’s par to keep him in contention. On the third hole, Rigel hit into the trees on the right side of the fairway and ended up with a bogie thereby reducing the overall lead to 3 strokes. After that it was safe game for both Rigel and Viraj resulting in pars until the 8th hole where the players started making their moves again. Rigel chipped his 3rd shot 10 feet from the hole for another birdie. Viraj however hit long and had to be content with a bogie thereby handing over a 5 shot lead to Rigel. The 9th hole being the last hole played resulted in a par for both players.
Last year, Rigel had won the Category B and was runner up in Category A in this tournament. This is the only tournament Rigel is able to play in India as he studies and trains at the IMG Academies in Florida, USA and can only come to India during his school break. This year was more challenging for Rigel as he had to go and pre-qualify for this tournament. The pre-qualification was held on the Qutub Golf Course in New Delhi. Rigel had never played in either of these courses earlier and hence he had to adapt to course quickly as part of his qualification. Considering that he was playing this course for the first time, his victory is even more commendable.
Overall, Rigel has had another good year winning several junior golf tournaments. He was runner up at the HJGT Tour Championship held at Championsgate, Orlando, Florida from December 10-11, 2011. He also qualified and played in the US Junior Amateur Golf Championship held at Bremerton, WA in July 2011.
Rigel is the younger son of Ivan and Renny Fernandes, of Ashoknagar parish in Mangalore. They have been residing in Dubai for the last many years.
The All India Junior Tournament is conducted by the Indian Golf Union is the premier junior golf tournament in India and is sponsored by Toyota Etios.
Leading scores: Boys (after 63 holes): Category A (15-17 years): 254: Rigel Fernandes (74, 75, 70, 35); 263: Satwik Jain (76, 75, 72, 40); 264: Honey Baisoya (74, 73, 78, 39); 266: Manpreet Mann (80, 77, 74, 35); 266: Abhishek Kuhar (76, 74, 78, 38);266: Saqib Ahmed (80, 76, 70, 40).
Category B (13-14): 259: Viraj Madappa (77, 76, 70, 36); 261: Piyush Sangwan (72, 79, 74, 36); 272: Feroze Singh Garewal (80, 74, 80, 38).
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