Chouhan starts with round of 71 in Bahrain

Om Prakash Chouhan. Pic: PGTI

Bahrain, Feb 2: Om Prakash Chouhan, playing his maiden season on the DP World Tour, dropped a late double bogey and finished with 1-under 71 in the opening round of the Bahrain Championship. He was placed T-69 and will need a sharp second round to make his first DP World Tour cut outside India.

Chouhan, who won the PGTI’s Order of Merit to grab a full card to the DP World Tour, missed the cut last week in Ras Al Khaimah. In Bahrain, where he is the lone Indian as Shubhankar Sharma has taken the week off. Chouhan did a fine job by picking three of his birdies on the Par-5s and putted well. He bogeyed the second and the fourth, but birdies on the par-5 third and Par-3 seventh from 16 feet meant he turned in even par. A birdie on the par-5 11th from nine feet and a hole out from 27 yards on the Par-5 14th saw him get to 2-under but a double bogey on Par-3 16th ruined his card. He did manage a 13-foot birdie on the 18th for a 71.

Tom Vaillant posted a bogey-free eight under par round of 64 to take a one-stroke lead after the first round. The Frenchman, who graduated following one season on the European Challenge Tour in 2023, carded a superb five under par back nine – including back-to-back birdies to finish – to move one stroke clear of Switzerland’s Joel Girrbach and South African Zander Lombard.

A benign day in the Kingdom of Bahrain set the scene for perfect scoring conditions, with 84 of the 132-strong field finishing in red numbers after day one, with a hot start essential due to forecasted high winds on Friday.

Canada’s Aaron Cockerill, Dane Sebastian Friedrichsen, Spain’s Alejandro del Rey and South African Ockie Strydom share fourth place on six under par, one clear of a group of five on five under par including England’s Marcus Armitage, who recorded his first professional hole-in-one at the par three 12th hole.

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