Om Prakash Chouhan prevails in close finish at Jaipur Open
Om Prakash Chouhan lifted his seventh title after he prevailed with a narrow one-shot margin at the Jaipur Open golf here on Saturday.
The 36-year-old from Madhya Pradesh (67-66-65-64), lying second and two off the lead after round three, made the most of his excellent chipping and putting form this week as he signed the best card in the last round, a six-under 64, to finish on top at 18-under 262.
Chouhan bagged the winning cheque of Rs. 6,00,000 and moved up from 18th to eighth position in the PGTI Order of Merit.
Chandigarh's Abhijit Singh Chadha (62-69-65-67), the overnight leader, struck a flawless 67 despite the putts not rolling in for him. He claimed the runner-up spot at 17-under 263 at the Rs. 40 lakh event.
Akshay Sharma (67), another Chandigarh golfer, secured third place at 13-under 267. Faridabad's Abhinav Lohan (68) and Bangladesh's Jamal Hossain (69) finished a further shot back in tied fourth position.
Local professional Girraj Singh Khadka was tied 29th at one-under 279. Jaipur's Manoviraj Shekhawat, the only amateur to make the cut, finished 50th at 11-over 291.
Shekhawat won the trophy for the best performing amateur.
Chouhan took control early in the day when he picked up five birdies on the first eight holes to move into the sole lead. He made his sixth chip-in of the tournament on the seventh hole and set up the other birdies also as a result of good wedge-play.
He was in some sort of trouble when he made consecutive three-putts for bogeys on the ninth and 10th that saw him slip back into second place behind Abhijit.
However, the man from Mhowꪪ who last won on the PGTI in February last year, got back to level terms with a birdie on the 12th.
His short-game came to his rescue once again when he made chip-putt birdies on the 17th and 18th to seal the win.
"My game had suffered because I had stopped using the lob wedge. My brother who caddied for me in Chennai advised me to get back to using the lob wedge as it had always been my strength.
"So I got back to my lob wedge this week and that contributed to my excellent chipping here in Jaipur," Chouhan said.
Aditi slips to T-26 in Portland Classic
Aditi Ashok dropped a shot at the start and the end to card a 1-under 71 and slip to T-26 in the AmazingCre Portland Classic on the LPGA Tour.
The Indian star, who was T-13 after the first day of action, was six shots behind the co-leaders German Esther Henseleit (70-64) and Lilia Vu (68-66), who are both at 10-under.
Aditi did improve in terms of putts needed for the second round – from 30 she came down to 28 – but only found nine of the 14 fairways and 11 of the greens in regulations, which was a drop from the first day.
Aditi dropped a shot immediately on her first hole of the day, but had birdies on 12th and 13th followed by a string of 11 pars. A birdie on seventh was followed by a closing bogey on ninth.
Meanwhile, in her first appearance here, Lilia Vu, 24, has a share of the lead for the first time in her LPGA career after an exciting 6-under 64.
Vu shares the second-round lead with two-time LET champion Esther Henseleit, who got off to a hot start with four birdies in her first nine.
Lahiri way behind in 28th, Dustin Johnson leads
Recovering from a bout of flu, India’s Anirban Lahiri shot three birdies in last four holes to salvage a par round 72 and was tied 28th in the LIV Golf Invitational Chicago at Rich Harvest Farms here.
Lahiri was tied alongside Thailand’s Phachara Khongwatmei, Australian Wade Ormsby and American Sihwan Kim.
Dustin Johnson birdied half of the 18 holes to shoot a bogey free 9-under 63. He was three shots ahead of the Open champion, Australian Cameron Smith, who had three birdies on either side of the course in his six-under 66.
Lahiri started from the first tee alongside Johnson and seemed to struggle for most part of the round. He started finding his game in the closing stages and the three late birdies helped him get back to par.
Lahiri showed effects of his indisposition as he missed a lot of fairways and his irons too were not as he wanted.
American Matthew Wolff eagled the par-five 18th, his penultimate hole, to move into third place with a 67.
Wolff was one shot ahead of Bedminster champion Henrik Stenson, Matt Jones, Lee Westwood and Charles Howell III.
Thailand’s Sadom Kaewkanjana and Zimbabwe’s Scott Vincent were the best-placed among the Asian Tour players, tied 11th after returning 70s.
Diksha shoots 66 with 5 straight birdies, lies T-12 in France; all 4 Indians make cut
Indian golfer Diksha Dagar was on fire as she drilled in five straight birdies in a card of 5-under 66 in the second round at the Lacoste Ladies Open de France here.
Diksha was at her best, especially in the second half of her front nine. She made the turn in 6-under 29 and then had one bogey and no birdies on the back nine, as she moved to T-12 after the second round.
Diksha is seven shots behind the LET rookie professional Ines Laklalech, who took a one-shot lead into the final round as she attempts to become the first Moroccan and first North African woman to win a title on the Ladies European Tour.
Diksha, who is slowly showing signs of the form that won her a Ladies European title in South Africa in 2019, birdied the second and then had five birdies from fifth to ninth. Her only blemish of the day was a bogey on Par-3 15th.
All four Indians in the field made the 36-hole cut. Among them was Tvesa Malik, who showed a lot of patience as she negotiated the Golf Barrière course in Deauville.
She started from the 10th and had eight straight pars to start with before dropping a shot on 18th. A birdie on first brought her back to par for the day but a bogey on par-4 fourth meant she finished at 1-over 72 and was 2-under 140 for 36 holes in Tied-20th place.
Amandeep Drall, coming off a Top-10 finish last week, had two birdies against five bogeys, three of them in a row from 10th to 12th for a 3-over 74. She is now 1-over 143 for two rounds and T-36, while Vani Kapoor (73) is now 3-over 145 for two days and T-52nd. The cut fell at 3-over.
Rookie pro Ines Laklalech, 24, from Casablanca fired a second round of five-under-par 66 in windy conditions. She now has a 36-hole total of 11-under-par to sit a shot ahead of England’s Meghan MacLaren.
Sharma misses cut in Italian Open
Indian golfer Shubhankar Sharma shot 1-under 70 with a superb back nine that had four birdies, but still missed the cut at the Italian Open here.
The turnaround came too late as his front nine of 3-over had damaged his chances along with 4-over 75 first round.
Rory McIlroy finished his second round minutes after the hooter was sounded off to signal the end of play on the second day due to fading light. He birdied the final 18th and took a one-shot lead over Matt Fitzpatrick at the top of the leader board. McIlroy shot 66 and was nine-under for the 36 holes.
Sharma, who is 36th on the DP World Tour rankings, has been having a disappointing run after a superb runner-up finish at the Abu Dhabi Championships in January. In his last 15 starts, he has missed 11 cuts, since his tied 13th finish in Kenya.
McIlroy made a stunning eagle, six birdies and three bogeys as he played some world-class golf at the Marco Simone Golf and Country Club.
First-round leader Fitzpatrick produced a second-round 69 which contained five straight birdies to get to eight under, having earlier returned to put the finishing touches to his first round.
Tom Lewis was alone in third on seven under after making eight birdies and two bogeys in his second-round 65.
Indian-American Theegala placed fifth at Fortinet Championship
Indian-American Sahith Theegala continued to build on his fine run and was placed fifth at the Fortinet Championship golf here.
He took the momentum from the just finished PGA Tour season to the new one.
The 24-year-old Californian of Indian origin, added a 3-under 69 to his first round 67 to get to 8-under 136. He was tied fifth at the halfway stage.
Leading the pack were defending champion Max Homa (65-67) and former Masters champion, Danny Willett (68-64) and they were two clear of overnight leader, Justin Lower (63-71) and Korea Byeong Hun An (66-68), who celebrates his 31st birthday on Saturday and hopes to mark it with a win on Sunday. It is also his 150th start on the PGA Tour.
Theegala, who qualified for the Tour Championship in his rookie year, birdied fifth, eighth and ninth on the front nine but dropped shots on 13th and 14th before picking up a stroke each on 16th and 18th.
His plan is to get a fast start in the Fall season and build on it as 2023 begins with the events in Hawaii, where he will feature in the Sentry Tournament of Champions for the first time, despite still looking for his maiden title.
The change in criteria for the Sentry event has opened the doors for all players who qualified for the Tour Championship, and Theegala will get it, too. Earlier he revealed that it would be cool to play in Hawaii.
Homa, with his second round 5-under 67, was 26-under par on his last four rounds at Silverado (65-65-65-67). He is looking to join Brendan Steele (2016-17) as players to successfully defend a Fortinet Championship title.
Willett carded an 8-under 64, his lowest score on TOUR since a career-low 10-under 62 at the 2015 World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions. He shared the lead with Homa.
Purav and Divij win Challenger in Istanbul
Second seeds Purav Raja and Divij Sharan beat the top seeds Arjun Kadhe and Fernando Romboli 6-4, 3-6, [10-8] in the doubles final of the $53,120 Challenger tennis tournament in Istanbul on Saturday.
It was the first title in three years for Divij who had last won three titles including two in the Tour events in Pune and St. Petersburg in 2019.
Purav had won a Challenger each in the last two years with Ramkumar Ramanathan and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan.
Purav and Divij had won their last doubles title as a pair in Bordeaux in 2017, after which Purav had joined hands with Leander Paes.
In the $15,000 ITF men’s event in Tunisia, Sai Karteek Reddy Ganta and Parikshit Somani won the doubles title.
Tanussh Ghildyal, Rituja Saha enter finals of Asian under-16 tournament
Tanussh Ghildyal recovered from a slow start to beat Aashravya Mehra 3-6, 6-4, [10-6] in the boys semifinals of the Asian under-16 tennis tournament.
In the final, Tanussh was scheduled to play Samprit Sharma. Tiruja Saha and Haritashree Venkatesh set up the girls final.
Vansh and Mahika win AITA National series juniors titles
Vansh Nandal beat Deepam Malik 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 in the boys final of the AITA National series under-18 tennis tournament at the Joygaon Academy on Saturday.
Deepam had the consolation of winning the doubles title in partnership with Sagar Kumar.
In the girls final, Mahika Khanna outplayed Sreemanya Reddy 6-0, 6-2. In the girls doubles final, Shrijana Thapa and Tamanna Panwar turned the match around after a bad start against Gia Alana Pereira and Danica Fernando to prevail 0-6, 6-0, [13-11].
Prachi Malik and A Aahan helped India outplay Chinese Taipei 2-0, dropping a mere three games, in clinching the third place in the Asian under-12 tennis championship in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, on Saturday.
The Indian boys, however, were beaten in the third place match 2-0 by Myanmar. Tavish Pahwa went down fighting in two tie-breaks in the second singles after Fazal Ali Meer had lost the first match 4-6, 2-6.
Thailand won the girls title beating host Kazakhstan 3-0, while Kazakhstan beat Thailand 2-1 for the boys title.
Rajasthan’s Siddharth Choudhary (boys’ shot put) and Nikita Kumari (girls’ discus throw) broke meet records in the HSBC 17th National Youth (U-18) Athletics Championships which began at the Tatya Tope Stadium on Saturday.
Both the athletes achieved the qualifying standard for next month’s Asian Youth Championships in Kuwait.