Jamshedpur: Om Prakash Chouhan of Mhow coasted to a four-shot victory at the 13th TATA Open, a Rs. 75 lakh event, after firing a one-under-70 in the final round. Chouhan, who bagged his second title of the year, ended the week at Jamshedpur with a tournament total of 14-under-271. The 28-year-old Om Prakash has now overtaken Chikkarangappa as the Rolex Rankings leader.
Bangalore's Khalin Joshi came in second with a 10-under-275 total after his final round of two-under-69.
On Sunday, the entire field played nine holes each on both courses – Beldih and Golmuri. While one half of the field teed off from Beldih, the other half began its round from Golmuri. Twenty-seven golfers with the best scores at the end of round three teed off from Golmuri and finished at Beldih. The par for the combined courses was 71.
Om Prakash Chouhan (67-67-67-70), who began the final round with a four-shot lead, had an early hiccup as he found the trees on the second and as a result dropped a bogey. The Mhow lad then sank two crucial six-feet birdie putts on the fifth and eighth to be back in control. Chouhan hit a few poor tee shots on the 10th, 11th and 14th that led to bogeys but he hung on to his dominant position thanks to birdies on the 12th, 16th, and 17th. Om Prakash landed it within three feet on the 16th and drained an eight-footer on the 17th.
Chouhan, who now has four titles to his credit, said, “It was all about my consistent putting this week. I never felt any pressure in the final round as I enjoyed a comfortable lead throughout. I felt I played better at Beldih this week as that course suited my game. The third round set up the win for me. I converted a lot of long putts in round three that helped me grow in confidence.”
Chouhan, who took home the winning cheque of Rs. 12,12,375, added, “The 2014 season has been my best so far as I’ve now won two titles in the year. I’ve been in contention in events through the year. It’s great to head into the final event of the season in Kolkata as the Rolex Rankings leader.”
Khalin Joshi of Bangalore, who was overnight tied third, carded a 69 on Sunday to finish runner-up, four strokes behind the winner. Joshi’s final round featured five birdies, a bogey and a double-bogey.
Mukesh Kumar of Mhow and Bangalore’s C Muniyappa shared third place at nine-under-276.
Bangalore’s Chikkarangappa S, who conceded his lead in the Rolex Rankings to Om Prakash Chouhan, was a further shot back in joint fifth place along with Gurgaon’s Abhishek Kuhar.