OP Chouhan holds nerve to seal season’s third title in Digboi

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Om Prakash Chouhan - TheGolfingHub
Om Prakash Chouhan carded a four-under 68 in Round Four to total 18-under 270 at the Digboi Golf Links. Photo: PGTI

Om Prakash Chouhan’s steely resolve helped him garner his third title of the year at the IndianOil SERVO Masters 2023 as he pipped his nearest rivals to the post by one shot at the end of a day of fluctuating fortunes.

The 37-year-old OP carded a four-under 68 in round four to total 18-under 270 at the INR 80 lakh event played at the picturesque Digboi Golf Links.

Related: OP Chouhan in line for third title

OP took home the winning cheque worth INR 12 lakh that helped him set a new record for season’s earnings on the PGTI. OP now has season’s earnings of INR 96,41,659 which saw him extend his lead in the TATA Steel PGTI Ranking and also go past Manu Gandas’ 2022 previous season’s earnings record of INR 88,50,688.

Sachin Baisoya’s strong finish with a 67 on Saturday meant he took the runner-up spot at a tournament total of 17-under 271. Sachin, winner of the previous event in Chandigarh, continued in second place on the PGTI’s merit list. Sachin currently trails Order of Merit leader and good friend OP by nearly INR 25 lakh.

 

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OP (67-68-67-68), the overnight leader by two shots, seemed to be coasting to a likely win when he birdied the sixth and seventh holes. But OP, in good ball-striking form, then hit a rough patch with his putting that resulted in missed short putts for birdies on the eighth and ninth and for pars on the 10th and 13th.

OP then took stock of the situation and came roaring back as he drove par-4 14th green to earn a birdie there and followed that up with a chip-in for eagle on the 15th and the decisive 15-feet birdie conversion on the 18th.

OP said, “I got my driver and 3-wood fitted recently and as a result my driving and tee shots were outstanding through the week. But today I started having some trouble with my putting midway through the round which broke my rhythm. I missed four short putts between the eighth and 13th. I was a little disappointed at that stage.

“However, the presence of my friend and fellow professional Md Nawab and my brother Deepak, who were both following me, helped me a lot. I then decided to play my normal game and not to overthink about my putting.

 

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“The chip-in for eagle on the 15th was the turning point for me today. It’s a hole I have favoured through the week having made three eagles including two chip-ins and a birdie there over the last four rounds. After the 15th I told myself not to repeat the mistakes I had made earlier in the day. Things worked out well at the end and I’m just delighted to continue my solid run this season.”

Sachin (66-69-69-67) struck six birdies and a bogey to be a contender till the last hole where his challenge fizzled out after a par.

Saarthak Chhibber shot the day’s joint lowest score of 66 (also shot by two other players – Vikrant Chopra and Gaurav Pratap Singh) to match his career-best finish of tied third achieved earlier in the season.

Kapil Kumar (67) shared third place with Chhibber at 16-under 272.

Aman Raj (69) took the fifth spot at 15-under 273.

 

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Noida-based teenager and Australian national Aarav D Shah (70), the only amateur to make the cut, ended the day in 29th at four-under 284. Aarav thus bagged the trophy for the best performance by an amateur.