17 September 2022: Om Prakash Chouhan of Mhow, Madhya Pradesh, lifted his seventh title after he prevailed with a narrow one-shot margin at the Rajasthan Tourism presents Jaipur Open 2022 powered by AU Small Finance Bank played at the Rambagh Golf Club in Jaipur.
The 36-year-old Chouhan (67-66-65-64), lying second and two off the lead after round three, made the most of his excellent chipping and putting form this week as he signed the best card in the last round, a six-under 64, to finish on top at 18-under 262. Om Prakash bagged the winning cheque worth Rs. 6,00,000 and thus moved up from 18th to eighth position in the PGTI Order of Merit.
Chandigarh’s Abhijit Singh Chadha (62-69-65-67), the overnight leader by two shots, struck a flawless 67 despite the putts not rolling in for him on Saturday. He claimed the runner-up spot at 17-under 263 at the Rs. 40 lakh event.
Akshay Sharma (67), another Chandigarh golfer, secured third place at 13-under 267. Faridabad’s Abhinav Lohan (68) and Bangladesh’s Jamal Hossain (69) finished a further shot back in tied fourth position.
Local professional Girraj Singh Khadka was tied 29th at one-under 279. Jaipur’s Manoviraj Shekhawat, the only amateur to make the cut, finished 50th at 11-over 291. Shekhawat won the trophy for the best performing amateur.
Om Prakash Chouhan took control early in the day when he picked up five birdies on the first eight holes to move into the sole lead. Om Prakash made his sixth chip-in of the tournament on the seventh hole and set up the other birdies also as a result of good wedge-play.
Chouhan was in some sort of trouble when he made consecutive three-putts for bogeys on the ninth and 10th that saw him slip back into second place behind Abhijit. However, the man from Mhow who last won on the PGTI in February 2021, got back to level terms with a birdie on the 12th.
Om Prakash’s short-game came to his rescue once again when he made chip-putt birdies on the 17th and 18th to seal the win.
Chouhan said, “I was feeling the pressure at the start of the day as I was two shots behind but I got into my rhythm with those five birdies on the first eighth holes. After anxious moments with the two three-putts, a good chip-putt for par on the 11th and the birdie on the 12th really helped me relax. The other good par save from a chip-putt came on the 15th which ultimately gave me the confidence to finish well.
“Importantly, my game had suffered because I had stopped using the lob wedge. My brother who caddied for me in Chennai advised me to get back to using the lob wedge as it had always been my strength. So I got back to my lob wedge this week and that contributed to my excellent chipping here in Jaipur.
“The Rambagh Golf Club is a lot like my original home course in Mhow with similar playing conditions. So I always feel at home playing here in Jaipur which added to my self-belief today. I recently got a new sponsor so that too has helped me relax on the golf course while I’m playing an event.”
Abhijit Singh Chadha sank three birdies and kept the errors off his card but he couldn’t catch up with the leader as the putts didn’t fall for him especially in the latter stages of the round.