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Sports


Seasoned Shankar Das makes his presence felt with third straight 68, moves into a one-shot lead in round three

Chandigarh, May 16 (UNI) The seasoned Shankar Das of Kolkata made his presence felt with a third straight round of four-under-68 at the Rs 30 lakh TATA Steel PGTI Players Championship Presented by Chandigarh Golf Club here today.

Thirty-six-year-old Shankar now enjoys a one-shot lead at 12-under-204 ahead of the final round. Greater Noida’s Sudhir Sharma, who was overnight tied fourth along with Shankar after setting a new course record on Wednesday, also moved up two spots in the penultimate round. Sudhir’s 69 on Thursday placed him second at 11-under-205.
Bengaluru’s Trishul Chinnappa, the halfway leader, slipped to tied third as a result of his third round of 73. Chinnappa shared third place with Noida’s Gaurav Pratap Singh (71) at nine-under-207.
Panchkula’s Angad Cheema was the highest placed among the Tricity golfers. Cheema (68) closed the day in tied 12th at five-under-211.
The conditions during round three were unforgiving as it was the windiest day of the tournament and the breeze kept switching directions. The tough scoring conditions meant that only 17 players
out of a total of 57 could break par on day three.
Shankar Das (68-68-68), a seven-time winner on the PGTI, negotiated the conditions well to shoot the day’s joint best score and keep his card bogey-free. Das struggled to find greens in regulation but more than made up for that with his fine chipping and putting.
The 2014 TATA Steel PGTI Order of Merit champion made a couple of chip-putt birdies on the second and 16th and landed his wedge shots within six feet for birdies on the sixth and 18th. The man with three top-10s this year will now be looking for his first win since September 2017.
Sudhir Sharma (72-64-69) began the day splendidly as he landed his the approach within a foot on the first hole to set up a tap-in birdie.
Sudhir picked up five more birdies at the cost of a bogey till the 17th to enjoy a two-shot cushion over Shankar Das.
However, it all changed when Sharma found the water with his approach on the 18th and thereby conceded a double-bogey at the end. There was a three-shot swing in favour of Shankar who snatched the lead from Sudhir after making a birdie on the last hole.
Round two leader Trishul Chinnappa got off to a promising start with two birdies on the first four holes but he soon slipped with two bogeys and a double-bogey between the eighth and the 11th. He managed to pull one shot back on the 16th.
Patna’s Aman Raj and Bangladesh’s Md Dulal Hossain, who were both overnight tied second shot identical scores of 74 in round three and thus dropped to tied fifth at seven-under-209. The three others in tied fifth were Delhi golfers Kapil Kumar (68) and Rashid Khan (71) and Bengaluru’s C Muniyappa (71).
Jyoti Randhawa was in tied 29th at one-under-215.
UNI XC-PC RN
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