Jaipur: Aman Raj of Patna clinched the title in a final-hole thriller at the INR 1 crore Bhawani Singh Rathore presents Jaipur Open 2023 powered by AU Small Finance Bank played at the Rambagh Golf Club in Jaipur.
The 28-year-old Aman (65-66-64-66) made a quality chip-putt on the last hole to post an error-free final round of four-under 66 and secure his fourth career win by one shot at a total of 19-under 261. The win was also Aman’s third of the year and his second at the Jaipur Open, an event he won previously in 2018.
Greater Noida’s Saptak Talwar (64-65-71-62) and Gurugram’s Sunhit Bishnoi (65-67-68-62) claimed tied second place at 18-under 262 after they shot scores of eight-under 62, the best rounds of the tournament, on Saturday.
The winning cheque of INR 15 lakh lifted Aman Raj from fourth to second position in the TATA Steel PGTI Ranking thus keeping his hopes alive of finishing as No. 1 this season. Aman currently has season’s earnings of INR 84,81,745 and trails the Order of Merit leader Om Prakash Chouhan by nearly INR 29 lakh with one event remaining in the season, the year-end TATA Steel Tour Championship next week.
Aman Raj, the overnight leader by two shots, did not have the best of starts on day four as he missed some birdie opportunities from short-range on the greens and managed just one birdie on the front-nine. However, Aman, known to be one of the calmest players on the tour, kept his round together with a couple of crucial par-saves from eight feet on the second and 13th and a chip-in to save par on the 11th.
Aman then began his surge towards the title with his second chip-in of the day on the 14th that resulted in a birdie. He then saw it home with birdies on the 17th and 18th, both par-5s. On the 18th, he emerged victorious after sinking a five-footer following a superb chip shot from over the green.
Aman, who went bogey-free in his last two rounds, said, “With the birdies not coming my way early on, I was trying to make pars to keep the momentum going. I made some clutch putts and outstanding par-saves along with way, especially the chip-in on the 11th. After further gains on the 14th and 17th, recovering well from the rough on the latter, I was pumped on the last hole as I knew a birdie was required to win. I got it done with a great chip-putt.
“After the practice round I was confident of having a good week here. To win you need a few things to favour you and I felt that happened in round three. It’s turning out to be a great season for me and I’m now looking forward to closing it on a high at the Tour Championship next week.”
Saptak Talwar and Sunhit Bishnoi, both lying five off the lead in fourth place after round three, ran Aman close with their terrific rounds of 62 on Saturday. The duo gained two spots to finish tied second.
Rookie Saptak, who was six-under through the first 12 holes, ended the day with an eagle, seven birdies and a bogey to register a career-best joint runner-up finish on the PGTI.
Sunhit mixed nine birdies with a bogey in his final round. He tapped-in for birdies on the last three holes.
Chandigarh’s Akshay Sharma (64) took fourth place at 17-under 263.
Gurugram’s Dhruv Sheoran (68), lying overnight second, was a contender for the title after his five birdies on the front-nine. However, his three bogeys on the back-nine put him out of contention as he ended the week in fifth place at 15-under 265.
261: Aman Raj (65-66-64-66)
262: Saptak Talwar (64-65-71-62); Sunhit Bishnoi (65-67-68-62)
263: Akshay Sharma (63-68-68-64)
265: Dhruv Sheoran (65-68-64-68)