Resilient Chouhan dominates with massive four-shot win

AHMEDABAD: Om Prakash Chouhan of Mhow dominated the final day’s proceedings to win the Glade One Masters 2021 with a massive four-shot margin at 17-under-199. Chouhan shot a five-under-67 at the magnificent Glade One Golf Resort in Ahmedabad on Friday to make up for his heartbreaking loss on the PGTI last week.

Gurugram’s Manu Gandas took second place at 13-under-203 after firing a one-under-71 in the final round.

Om Prakash Chouhan (35-33-64-67), the overnight joint leader along with Manu Gandas, was off to a flying start with birdies on the second and third thanks to his accurate lob wedge approach shots that left him short putts. Om Prakash all but ran away with the match after his eagle-birdie on the eighth and ninth gave him a six-shot lead over nearest rival Manu Gandas who was one-over at the turn.

Chouhan produced a magical pitching wedge shot from the fairway bunker on the eighth for the second day in succession as he once again found the hole from 115 yards and picked up an eagle-two just like he had done in round three. The birdie on the ninth came as a result of a 15-feet conversion.

Interestingly, ‘OP’ as Chouhan is fondly referred to by his fellow professionals, had also dominated last week’s event at Kalhaar Blues & Greens in Ahmedabad having led for the first three days. However, a quadruple bogey after finding the water on the seventh hole in the final round put paid to his chances last week and saw him finish tied third.

The 34-year-old Chouhan said, “I’m relieved to have won today especially after the disappointment of last week. I had told myself at the start of this event that I will not repeat the mistakes of last week. The previous week was one of the rare occasions when I played in the leader group during the final round and did not win.

“I have now won six times while playing in the leader group in round four. When I’m in a good position I generally don’t let the opportunity slip away. But that didn’t happen last week so that was a big lesson for me.

“I must thank Mr. Ragesh Vasa who is a leading amateur golfer here in Ahmedabad for all his inputs about this course. He played a round with me in Kalhaar after the tournament last week and helped me regain my confidence by giving me some vital tips on how to tackle the challenges posed by the Glade One Golf Resort course. He helped me on all kinds of information about the Glade One course including the layout, yardages, green speed and reading the line on the greens. He was motivating me through my round today.

“I would also like to thank my wife Sheetal who gave me a pep talk after I missed out on a win last week. It was my marriage anniversary on the 24th of February and she said her biggest gift would be my victory at Glade One.

“I attacked well at the start today and then tried to play some conservative golf on the back-nine and tried to avoid getting overconfident despite the big lead at the turn. I executed my pitching wedge shot from the bunker to perfection for the second day running. The yardage from there was somehow perfect for my shot as it was about 115 yards out and almost in the same spot as round three.”

Chouhan’s sixth career win earned him a prize money cheque of Rs.4,84,950 and lifted him from 23rd to 13th place in the PGTI Order of Merit. He will now earn 3 Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points for his win that is likely to push him up significantly from his current world ranking of 823 when the updated rankings are released on Monday.    

Manu Gandas (35-30-67-71), the other overnight joint leader, picked up six birdies on Friday but at the same time conceded a bogey and two double-bogeys to post a 71. He did not pose any threat to Chouhan during the round. However, he ended up matching his previous best result on the PGTI with his runner-up finish.

Delhi’s Rashid Khan (69), Faridabad’s Abhinav Lohan (68) and Gurugram’s Veer Ahlawat (69) took joint third place at eight-under-208. Chandigarh’s Karandeep Kochhar kept his lead intact in the PGTI Order of Merit after his tied eighth finish at six-under-210. Noida’s Gaurav Pratap Singh shot the day’s best score of six-under-66 to claim tied 11th position at five-under-211.

Pune-based Udayan Mane, India’s highest ranked golfer in the world, shot a 69 to close the event in tied 29th at one-over-217.Among the three Ahmedabad-based professionals, Shravan Desai took 31st place at two-over-218, Jay Pandya was tied 42nd at six-over-222 while Anshul Patel was placed tied 54th at 13-over-229.

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