High scoring and tough weather conditions resulted in a four-way-tie for the lead in the Noida Open Amateur being played at the par-72 Noida Golf Club today. Karan Vasudeva was the only player to shoot an under-par round and that was good enough to give him a share of the lead along with Jasjeet Singh,Abhishek Jha and Arshdeep Tiwana.
Braving biting cold and windy conditions,the overnight leaders stumbled and as a result opened up the tournament to a lot more contenders. Arshdeep,who had shot a sizzling 67 in the first round,failed to find the touch and in tough conditions carded a round of six over 78. Along with him L Selvadurai,Saurabh Bahuguna,Abhinav Lohan and Pranav Kaul,all of whom were in the red yesterday,could only return over par cards.
The look of relief on Karan Vasudevas face told a tale in itself. The conditions were really tough but I followed the simple mantra of keeping it in play. There was no need to play aggressively and I kept a check on my game, he said.
Karan made use of the par-5 holes on the course and a birdie each on the 1st and the 13th boosted his round. He also birdied the 11th but two bogeys on his card,meant that he had to be satisfied with a score of one under par.
Abhishek Jha,fresh from his win at the Western India Amateur is the only player amongst the leaders to have won this season. Abhishek has in fact won two tournaments this season,including the season-opener,LG ITC Classic Open Amateur in April.
The lanky lad from Bangalore said: After a lean patch on tour,the Western India Amateur gave me a great confidence boost and I would love to carry this form into the last two rounds. His round of one over 73 included three birdies and four bogeys,including one on the par-5 17th.
One shot adrift of the leaders are two youngsters looking to make a mark on the amateur circuit. 19-year-old Pranav Kaul,with a round of three over 75,made his first cut on the amateur circuit and was visibly delighted with his efforts.
I am obviously quite nervous but I am just aiming to register points in this tournament, he said. Biren Dey,from Dubai,had shown some promise at the Western India Amateur and seems to be growing with each step and is close enough to have a shot at the title. Both players came into the main field through the qualifying round.
Rashid Khan fell further down the leaderboard with a round of four over 76 but is just five strokes off the lead.
Jasjeet Singh,playing at his home course,carded a round of even par 72 and would obviously be confident going into the last two rounds with local knowledge in hand. But,if the weather condition remains the same,scores are expected to be on the higher side and it will be another tough round for the players.