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25th July 1999

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Anura Rohana in action at the RCGC
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Anura Rohana takes title with impeccable golf

By Tita Nathanielsz

Course Master Anura Rohana is the new Sri Lanka Open golf champion. Rohana after giving an initial scare, played impeccable golf to take the coveted title at the 108th National Golf Championships organised and presented by the Ceylon Golf Union and the Royal Colombo Golf Course yesterday. The event is sponsored by Mobitel, CIC Paints and Hotel Taj Samudra.

In the 104th Ladies National Championships Thuhashini Selvaratnam outclassed Shayanika de Silva completely with a massive victory of 6 & 5 to prove beyond doubt that there is no one to match her talent.

Rohana went to the 15th tee 3 up and completed the hole with a tremendous birdie to win the hole and the title 4 and 3 from Karla the Indian amidst tension which could have been cut with a knife at the Royal Colombo Golf Course. Anura Rohana was 5 down on the 12th hole in the morning. He then picked up the 13th, 16th and the 18th with a birdie to be 2 down.

However through the afternoon session of 18 holes, he came alive winning the 21st and 24 holes to be all square. On the 25th, which is the 8th hole in front of the Club House, he followed up a massive drive with an impeccable 2nd short to complete a birdie and go 1 up. The 9th and 10th were halved and thereafter Rohana won the 11th, 12th and 13 to go 4 up. Rohana fumbled for a little while when he played a bad 14th tee shot and lost the hole to Karla who was getting a trifle careless. The rest was all Rohana's way as he went to the 15th tee 3 up and completed the hole with a birdie to win the hole and the title.

Playing conditions were ideal with the administration and organizing methods skillfully placed to make the participation comfortable. The foreign players were quite thrilled with the entire scene.

The first round was uneventful and nothing to write home about. But through the 2nd round Sri Lanka struck absolute disaster when hot favourite T. Chandradasa was beaten by M.Subramaniam 3 & 2. Subramaniam played superb golf with great tee shots backed by positive play from round the greens. Chandradasa was untidy a couple of times and paid the penalty. Zal Chitty from whom much was expected, took Malaysia's No 1 Chong A. Hoi to the 17th to get all square and then he squandered positive victory with a bad 18th hole. He lost to Hoi who went 1 up.

Doc.Thurai and Nirmalingam were taken to the cleaners and left there beaten by G. Gnanapathy and S. Sasideran 6 & 5. A. Aimed was shaping well despite added weight and when on the threshold of victory, he faltered to go 1 down to Sale Sadden, a good looking player from Malaysia.

The later games brought further distress to the Sri Lanka's, Rusi Captain playing at this brilliant best met his match in G. Meehmoud of Pakistan, who, with exceptional control over his shots, struggled to staying the fight and eventually dislodged Captain on the 21st hole. The other casualty was young Lalith Kumara fresh from his conquest in India. Playing M.Sasideran, a delightful stroke player, the struggle went on with nothing between them. All square most of the way, the game had to stretch to the 20th when Sasideran sealed victory with a simple par.

Wettimuni to meet Dav and watch Lanka 'A'

By Marlon Fernandopulle

Chairman of Selectors Siddath Wettumini left for England last night to meet Sri Lanka's new coach Dav Whatmore and to watch the Sri Lanka 'A' team which is currently enjoying a highly successful tour.

As the new Chairman of Selectors, Siddath Wettimuni feels that he should meet the new coach and brief him on all aspects especially on his committee's policy in selections.

Wettumini admitted that his committee has been meeting every week and will announce the One Day and Tests squads shortly. Wettimuni's meeting with Dav is certain to revolve around the selections of Sri Lanka's squad for the Australian tour next month.

The former opening batsman denied newspaper reports that Sri Lanka will have separate squads for the One Dayers and Tests like world champions Australia. "That's mere speculation. We have not made a decision to that effect."

Wettimuni will make use of his visit to England to watch the Sri Lanka 'A' team in action and also meet the Manager of the team Stanley Jayasinghe.With the 'A' team already performing excellently there is growing speculation that a few players will be drafted into the senior squad. Thus, Wettumini will have the opportunity of watching these players perform in England before deciding on the final selections.

Wettimuni is expected back only on August 12, but told the Sunday Times that the Test and One Day squads will be announced before his arrival.

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