Ahmedabad, Feb 25 (IANS) Om Prakash Chouhan of Mhow produced a super eight-under-64 while Manu Gandas of the DLF Golf & Country Club, Gurugram, shot a determined five-under-67 as the duo held the joint third round lead at 12-under-132, three shots head of the rest, at the Glade One Masters on Thursday.
Panchkula’s Angad Cheema also fired a brilliant seven-under-65 to lie third at nine-under-135 at the Glade One Golf Resort.
Bengaluru’s Chikkarangappa, the winner on the PGTI last week, carded a 67 to be placed tied fourth at six-under-138 along with Chandigarh’s Yuvraj Singh Sandhu, who slipped two spots form his overnight second after returning a 72 on Thursday.
According to the tournament’s unique format, the first two rounds consisted of nine holes each. The cut was applied after 18 holes. The third and fourth rounds will now comprise 18 holes each. The tournament will be played over a total of 54 holes.
Chouhan (35-33-64), who led for three days at last week’s event in Ahmedabad before finally finishing third, is back in contention this week thanks to his standout performance on Thursday. He hit his sand wedge to perfection on day three as he landed it within five feet on five occasions to set up birdies.
Chouhan, who was overnight tied third and three off the lead, also had two birdie conversions from 10 to 15 feet and a lone bogey but the highlight of his round was the eagle-two on the 17th where he holed out from the fairway bunker about 115 yards out.
“I was hitting my wedges really well from the start but on the back-nine my putting also began to click. The eagle was special as I read the yardage perfectly and executed the shot as I had planned,” said Chouhan, 34.
“Looking ahead, I feel a four or five under in the final round would give me a really good chance. It will be important to reassess the situation at the turn. If it stays calm like today and there is no wind, I think I have a good chance of returning a four or five under. I’m keen to make up for last week when I stumbled in the final round.”
Manu Gandas (35-30-67), the overnight leader by one shot, mixed six birdies with a bogey in round three. He made three long birdie conversions from a range of 10 to 25 feet. He was five-under through 14 holes but couldn’t make further gains on the last four holes.
“Importantly, I kept the momentum going today and didn’t really make any errors besides one three-putt for bogey on the 10th. It’s now necessary to just repeat the process that I have in place during the last round,” Gandas said.
Angad Cheema had eight birdies and a bogey during round three. He holed some long putts at the start of his round and that earned him four straight birdies from the second to the fifth and got him going. He was also staring at a 64 had it not been for his three-putt bogey on the closing 18th.
Delhi’s Rashid Khan and rookie Harshjeet Singh Sethie, another Delhi-based golfer, posted scores of 66 to be tied sixth at five-under-139 along with PGTI Order of Merit leader Karandeep Kochhar (67) of Chandigarh, Bengaluru’s M Dharma (68) and Gurugram’s Veer Ahlawat (69).
Pune-based Udayan Mane, India’s highest ranked golfer in the world, shot a 75 to be tied 41st at four-over-148.
Among the three Ahmedabad-based professionals, Shravan Desai and Jay Pandya were both placed tied 46th at six-over-150 while Anshul Patel was placed 56th at 11-over-155.