Mahanth Chirravuri (Arizona Golf Association)
Mahanth Chirravuri captured the 99th Arizona Amateur Championship at Desert Highlands Saturday, draining a 25-foot eagle putt on No. 18 to win the hole and a thrilling match over Kiko Coelho.
“I played really well all week,” said Chirravuri, 19, a Pepperdine transfer after spending his freshman year at the University of Southern California. “I think I won (No.) 18 three times, and you need to win 18 if you’re going to win this tournament. I played great coming in, Kiko played awesome as well. He made so many putts that kept the match going.”
Coelho trailed most of the match, falling behind on the second hole and trailing by two on the 12th tee. But he battled back with a putting display for the ages, one-putting holes No. 12 through 17, the last of which was for a birdie to tie the match.
“I started a little slow again today, my distance control wasn’t great and I wasn’t making the putts I needed to make,” said Coelho, 20, an incoming junior at Arizona State University from Lisbon, Portugal. “I had a great match against Mahanth today. It’s always great preparation [for the upcoming ASU season].”
Chirravuri did his best to withstand Coelho’s back-nine putting display by countering with some outstanding iron play. Approaches to the back-to-back Par-3 15th and 16th holes ended up five and eight feet from the cup, respectively.
He would convert the first birdie, but not the second, moving to the 17th tee up one. Coelho hit his second shot greenside left, navigating a chip to five feet for birdie. Chirravuri could not get up and down from behind the green in two, losing the hole and heading to 18 with the match tied.
“I hit a great putt, and it just went in – it was kind of a tough putt as well, it broke quite a bit,” said Chirravuri, a member of two Arizona High School State Championship teams, and an individual State Champion at Hamilton High School in Chandler. “For that to go in at that moment was pretty cool, and I’m just so happy that it went in.”
ABOUT THE Arizona Amateur
The event will play host to a maximum field size of 156
players for qualifying rounds, with the field cut to the
top 64 players for the match play championship, all
competing in one division. The event will consist of a
36-hole qualifier, followed by a 64-player match play
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