Bengaluru, March 31 (IANS) Aman Raj picked his second straight Top-10 finish as he ended tied sixth in The Challenge 2023, shooting a 3-under 69, his fourth successive round in the 60s, as he compiled cards of 68-67-69-69 to finish 15-under 273 here on Friday.
A week earlier he was tied for eighth at the Black Bull Challenge, which was the first of the two Challenge Tour events in India, as the Tour returned to India after a gap of 10 years. The Black Bull Challenge was won by Ind'a's OP Chouhan, who this week missed the cut.
Aman Raj was the best Indian and the next best were Veer Ahlawat (72-69-65-69) and left-hander Kartik Sharma (66-67-70-72)), who were both tied for 11th.
While Aman had a good finish, Frenchman Ugo Coussaud claimed his first win on the European Challenge Tour as he posted a five-under-par final round of 67 at Karnataka Golf Association.
Coussaud birdied two of the last three holes to get to 18-under for the week and secure his maiden triumph. Spaniard Manuel Elvira (70-67-68-66), who shot the day's best 66, finished joint runner-up along with Switzerland's Joel Girrbach (69-64-68-70) at 17-under par each.
Aman Raj, lying overnight tied eighth and five off the lead, had a slow start with a three-putt bogey on the second. He then put together four birdies but missed a couple of eagle putts and some birdie putts towards the end which halted his progress.
He gained two spots on the final day and posted his fourth top-10 in four starts this season on the PGTI to cement himself in second position in the PGTI Rankings behind Om Prakash Chouhan.
"'he putts didn't fall for 'e today but I'm pleased with my performance over the last two weeks with eight-under-par rounds. The game is trending in the right direction. One got to learn a lot playing alongside the Challenge Tour players over the las' two weeks. I'm happy 'ith the way I've played so far this season," Aman Raj was quoted as saying by the PGTI.
The other Indians in the top 20 were Veer Ahlawat and Kartik Sharma, both finishing tied 11th at 13-under 275 and Karan Pratap Singh who ended tied 18th at 12-under 276.
Frenchman Frederic Lacroix (70) and round three leader Lars Van Meijel (73) of The Netherlands, shared fourth place at 16-under 272.
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