Aman’s ‘Raj’ at Rambagh; Patna youngster secures maiden title with clinical final round 65 at Jaipur Open 2018 presented by Rajasthan Tourism
Honey Baisoya runner-up for second straight year; M Dharma shoots tournament’s best 61 to claim third place
Gaurav Pratap Singh fires rare albatross during his 67, finishes tied eighth
Jaipur, September 7, 2018: It was Aman’s ‘Raj’ at the Rambagh Golf Club on Friday as the Patna youngster secured his maiden title with a clinical final round of five-under-65 at the Jaipur Open 2018 presented by Rajasthan Tourism.
The stage was set for the 23-year-old Aman (64-67-62-65) as he enjoyed a two-shot lead coming into the final round at the back of a red-hot 62 in round three. The former India No. 1 amateur, who had come close to winning a few times in the past, eventually rose to the occasion on Friday with a round powered by two eagles to register a convincing three-shot win with a 22-under-258 total.
Delhi’s Honey Baisoya (65-65-66-65) also shot a last round of 65 to finish runner-up for the second year in succession. His total read 19-under-261.
M Dharma of Bengaluru carded the tournament’s best score of nine-under-61 to claim third place at 17-under-263.
Noida’s Gaurav Pratap Singh also made waves in round four when he fired a rare albatross on the par-5 17th. Gaurav, who holed his second shot from 256 yards on the 17th, recorded a 67 on Friday to finish tied eighth at 13-under-267.
Aman Raj, the overnight leader, didn’t look in any kind of trouble on day four as he maintained his lead from start to finish. The short and slightly-built golfer from the Patna Golf Club had a steady front-nine with two long birdie conversions on the sixth and ninth. He also made a good recovery for a bogey on the eighth after hitting his tee shot out of bounds.
Aman, who turned professional only in 2016, continued his march towards the title with an enthralling chip-in for eagle from 40 feet on the 14th. Aman began the last hole with a one-shot lead when things looked tight at the top with Honey breathing down his neck.
But Aman shut the door on his nearest rival with a stupendous second shot that found the green and set him a three-putt from 20 feet for victory. Aman sank the monster putt for a classic finish with an eagle.
Aman thus became the first Patna and Bihar-based player to win on the PGTI. As a result of his win, he took home a winner’s cheque worth Rs. 4,84,950 and thereby climbed from 22nd to 10th place on the PGTI Order of Merit.
“I experienced both relief and happiness after making that winning putt. I’ve waited a long time for my victory having come close on a few occasions in the past.
“I just tried to repeat what I had done previously in the week. Even the bogey on the front-nine came after a good recovery so I wasn’t too affected by it. Then the chip-in for eagle on the 14th really lifted my confidence. I knew I just had to keep my nerve from there on.
“On the last hole I knew I would win with a par, so the approach shot was crucial. As soon as I struck my approach and the ball took off I was quite sure it would land in a good position. That’s exactly what happened. The eagle putt at the end just made the win that much sweeter.
“With a win under my belt, I feel my game is only going to get better from here on,” said Aman.
Honey Baisoya, already a double-winner on the PGTI this year, looked a strong contender on Friday, more so, when he got within one of the lead after moving to five-under for the day through 17 holes. However, his challenge faded away when he missed a chip-putt for birdie on the last hole.
M Dharma’s exhilarating 61, the round of the tournament, that featured an eagle and seven birdies catapulted him from overnight tied 13th to third place.
Chandigarh-based amateur Yuvraj Singh Sandhu (67) and Bangladesh’s Md Zamal Hossain Mollah (69) finished in tied fourth at 16-under-264.
Jyoti Randhawa (69) secured tied 33rd place at six-under-274.
Jaipur’s Hemendra Choudhary (69) was a further shot back in tied 38th.